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Hey guys, I’d like to take a moment and welcome you to my new corner office. From my office I have a view of the beautiful Reeser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon home of the Oregon...
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As fans continue to devour the first Expansion Pack, Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand, DICE announces three new packs that expand the smash hit with new modes, maps and weapons.

The Battlefield™ army is over 12 Million strong and growing every day as Battlefield 3™ and its first expansion, Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand continues to recruit gamers around the world with its dynamic sandbox gameplay and state-of-the-art technology.

DICE demonstrates its ongoing commitment to fans by unveiling three new themed digital expansion packs* that will enhance the superior Battlefield experience with fresh and innovative gameplay, new modes, unique environments and more ways to wage all-out-war on the battlefield. Powered by the Frostbite™ 2 engine, the next expansion packs are: Battlefield 3: Close Quarters in June, Battlefield 3: Armored Kill in the fall, and Battlefield 3: End Game in the winter.

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters

In Battlefield 3: Close Quarters, players are dropped into a frantic, infantry-only theatre of war. Frostbite 2 high definition destruction makes the environment come alive as everything from furniture to plaster gets shot to pieces. Players will feel the intensity of the world exploding around them as rubble and broken pieces pile up on the floor, while tight level design and vertical gameplay create a highly competitive environment.

Battlefield 3: Close Quarters also introduces new weapons, assignments and unique dog tags to bring back to the base game.

Battlefield 3: Armored Kill

Following the tight infantry gameplay of Battlefield 3: Close Quarters, DICE will release Battlefield 3: Armored Kill that ups the ante for vehicular mayhem as only Battlefield can do.

Featuring new drivable tanks, ATVs, mobile artillery and more, Battlefield 3: Armored Kill also delivers huge battlefields for an all-out vehicle assault, including the biggest map in Battlefield history.

Battlefield 3: End Game

The fourth expansion pack will ship in the winter but details remain tightly guarded.

Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand

Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand is available now for download for £11.99 or 1200 Microsoft points and features four of the most beloved Battlefield 2™ maps (Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Wake Island and Sharqi Peninsula), all fully re-imagined utilizing the power of the Frostbite 2 engine.

Patrick Bach, Executive Producer, Battlefield 3 said, “Instead of delivering piecemeal map packs, we’re giving players a completely new experience with every themed expansion pack to keep the action fresh. Our expansions are designed to excite our large and active fan base while attracting new recruits with gameplay that is dynamic and unpredictable every time.”

Battlefield 3 is supported by a robust, and completely free social platform called Battlelog that invites players to compete, communicate and play with friends. Gamers track personal stats, compare against other players and join a platoon in an effort to dominate the battlefield. To add to the competitive fervor, a fully integrated rent-a-server program for console players will be available for gamers to play online with friends the way they want to play in either private, public, ranked or unranked matches. For more information about these enhancements and future plans for Battlelog, please visit www.battlefield.com.

Since its launch on Oct. 25, Battlefield 3 has quickly become the fastest selling title in EA’s 20+ year history selling more than 12 Million units since release. Lauded by game critics worldwide for its compelling single player campaign, intense co-op missions and its addictive and world class multiplayer, Battlefield 3 has won more than 120 awards including IGN.com’s “Best Multiplayer Game of 2011.”

Courtesy of EA.com

The powerful return of the legendary Aim2Game has come as a surprise to many of us that follow the game server business industry. Aim2Game was a top contender back in the day. In fact if I recall correctly, the first game server I ever played Counter-Strike in was an Aim2Game powered server. I can still picture their website with that god awful ugly flash banner they had, but still their service was impecable at the time.

If you were a lucky owner of an Aim2Game server then everyone who knew you treated you like a g0d! Back in the 2004 – 2006 era of gaming, kids weren’t complaining about 1000 FPS or if your server was on this bandwidth network or that etc… it was more about the gaming itself. Aim2Game came around and P4WND faces with their smooth running servers which was getting upwards of 100 FPS in game. That was unheard of, 66 FPS was the max anyones ever seen! “Now there’s 100 FPS out there, oh no I need to get me an AIM2GAME.”

Not only was their servers baby booty smooth but their customer service was top-notch to boot. If you were a customer of Aim2Game in the past, you may recognize the name Sam Wise. He was a very hands on owner, I had plenty of conversations with him over latency and server specifications.

Well enough memory lane, the good news is Aim2Game is being reformed and coming back even stronger! If your nostalgic like me then you’ll want to get your hands on another Aim2Game server as soon as they open their doors for business.

Experience Aim2Game 3 days before the official launch, discounts and much more. Register at http://www.aim2game.com

Battlefield 3′s first DLC, Battlefield 3: Back To Karkand, will be included free of charge for those who pre-order Battlefield 3. The Back To Karkand DLC includes maps, vehicles and weapons from Battlefield 2, remade for Battlefield 3. For those who do not pre-order Battlefield 3, the Back To Karkand DLC will be available for purchase at $15. Here’s a run down of all the exclusive items included in Back to Karkand:

Weapons

Maps

Vehicles

  • F35B fighter jet
  • BTR-90 infantry fighting vehicle
  • DPV fast transport vehicle

Game modes

Features

Back to Karkand gameplay trailer

Battlefield 3 Back to Karkand

After the turkey has been devoured, holiday shoppers emerge at popular store locations to capture that next holiday deal. Don’t get caught in line, go online!  Unlike Black Friday, there’s no need to elbow fellow shoppers or wait in long lines because these fantastic deals can only be found online. Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) is quickly becoming one of the busiest online shopping days of the year and for good reason, web surfers can find huge savings, free shipping and a wide range of other bargains or special gifts.

Buyer beware, make sure you’re ready to embark on this online adventure in the age of information.  Prioritize your shopping and have ideas of your potential purchases so you are not overwhelmed by the amount of deals, up-sell offers and product information.  Also be sure your computer is up to the task.  Check your broadband speed and ensure your computer is safe and secure for online purchasing (free of malware and viruses).

Check out this guide to get the best tips for online shopping success:

Log on Early. Some sites will offer doorbuster-style deals that will last only for a few hours online. Many other retailers will post specials on their sites during the weekend and continue through Cyber Monday.

Shop Safely. Make sure you’re shopping on secured sites. Check for a padlock icon or that the website begins with “https://” — both signs that the site is encrypted and safe. Also, avoid following links that are included in an email, as doing this will risk being linked to a fake Web page. Instead, type the URL of the store directly into a new window.

Skip the Shipping Fees. The one downside of shopping online (versus shopping at the mall) are the shipping fees. But the good news is many retailers offer free shipping deals on Cyber Monday. If you don’t find free shipping deals on a retailer’s site, check a competitor’s. Also, some sites offering free shipping deals require a promotional code, so check up on bargain-hunting sites like RetailMeNot.com, Couponcabin.com and SlickDeals.net.

Shop Smart. Price comparison sites, like pricegrabber.com or Google Product Search, are extra helpful when you’re shopping online to ensure you’re getting the best price for a particular item.

Do Your Homework and Prioritize Purchases. While it is hard to predict what deals you might find on Cyber Monday, it’s a good idea to do your research early on the items you want. Make a list of all the items you want to look for on Cyber Monday, then go through it and prioritize which items you’re going to look for deals on first.

Get Your PC Ready. To keep your online shopping safe, make sure your antivirus software is up to date and set to run a scheduled scan for malware prior to Cyber Monday. Also, make sure your web browser (like Internet Explorer) has all the necessary updates for Adobe Flash and Java, two technologies many sites use.

You’ll also want to check that your broadband Internet speed is performing optimally, so you can shop without a slowdown. Use the SpeedTest.net to ensure your broadband is up to the task for Monday.

Happy online hunting!

Additional Resources:

Shop Safely, Securely – 12 Tips To Protect Yourself On Cyber Monday

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/12-Tips-To-Protect-Yourself-investopedia-2612605101.html?x=0

Search Tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday (SearchEngine Land 2010)
http://searchengineland.com/search-tips-for-black-friday-cyber-monday-56839

You should go to MineCon!

We’ll be celebrating the community, celebrating the release of the full version of Minecraft, doing competitions, listening to interesting people talk, and just generally having a great time. Tickets are 99 dollars if you buy them before October.

The first 500 registrants will be entered to win the Ultimate Fan Experience.

This special package includes:

~ your hotel stay during MineCon (for the nights of November 17,18, and 19th)
~ VIP seating to Keynotes and Classes
~ A meal with Team Mojang

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so grab your registration early for a chance to win.

*Winner will be randomly drawn from list of first 500 registrants. You must be 18 years old or older to win.

http://minecon.mojang.com/

In other marketing news, we finally got Steve Heads for sale! http://mojang.com/2011/08/12/new-merch/

Prepare for full-scale war with Battlefield 3, the third major evolution of the long-running online battle franchise. Using the power of Frostbite 2 game engine technology, Battlefield 3 delivers superior visual quality, a grand sense of scale, massive destruction, dynamic audio and incredibly lifelike character animations. As bullets whiz by, walls crumble, and explosions throw you to the ground, the battlefield feels more alive and interactive than ever before.

In Battlefield 3, players step into the role of the elite U.S. Marines where they will experience heart-pounding single player missions and competitive multiplayer actions ranging across diverse locations from around the globe including Europe, Middle-East and North America.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was an amazing first-person shooter. But with every Bad Company release and spin-off, I couldn’t help but wonder what DICE was doing with its main Battlefield franchise. As it turns out, it had something to do with earthquakes.

The core games, including Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2, helped define what’s possible in multiplayer first-person shooters. It’s been more than five years since Battlefield 2 on PC, and now DICE is finally getting ready to deliver the next numbered entry. Battlefield 3 has a release date for this fall on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and from what’s been shown off, it looks incredible.

That’s because Battlefield 3 is being built using all-new technology developed in-house at DICE. It’s the next version of the Frostbite engine used in the Bad Company games, appropriately called Frostbite 2. It allows for a range of advanced graphical effects and destructible terrain. “We actually started with the engine three years ago,” said executive producer Patrick Bach. “When we finished Battlefield 2 and 2142 we talked about what’s the next big step that changes gaming. We’re good at technology and we wanted to create something that scaled better than Frostbite 1 did. The PCs were already — three years ago — starting to get ahead of the consoles. How could we make good use of that?”

Information Source: IGN.com

Most of the basics of the game engine is in place, so it’s time to flesh this game out into something more gamey. More content, more exploration, more things to do, and interesting combat! Once this update is out, there will only some tweaks, optimizations and code cleanups left to the core game before we can call it a full release.

We’ve got a list of some 40+ things we want to add to the game, some small, some big. Some huge. We’ve finished a fair number of the items, but there’s still a significant amount of work left. While I can’t reveal the date yet for various reasons, we do have a release date for the Adventure Update in mind, and we’re hoping we’ll be able to hit it.

Jens and I are keeping the exact contents of the update secret, but we do leak some information every now and then to keep people interested and to stop us from going insane. For the most immediate spoilers, you can follow us on Twitter (@notch and @jeb_), or on Google+ (+Markus Persson and +Jens Bergensten).

Here are a few of the things we’ve revealed so far:

NPC villages
Randomly generated dungeons
New biome code
Fully working Creative Mode (and individual admins can enter Creative Mode on a Survival Mode server if they choose)
Critical hits
Sprinting
More farming options
As soon as I can reveal the release date we’re aiming for, I will!

Oh, and the modding support is happening, honest.

Source: http://notch.tumblr.com/

Do you ever use Yelp.com? It’s a well known user-review site where people who visit businesses leave their impressions. If you really liked that burger at Burger Trench, visit Yelp and let the Internet in on how delicious your lunch was. It sounds pretty straightforward, but some disgruntled business owners are alleging that the entire thing is basically, a gigantic extortion scam.

The supposed racket works like this: Yelp contacts a business owner to inform him/her that their place has negative reviews on the site and for a price or in exchange for buying an ad, the bad reviews can be moved down the page until they cannot be seen. Think of it like an old-school mafia protection scam update for the late aughts — no one is going to bust in your plate glass window with a bat. But if you target a tech-savvy crowd and your reviews are negative, you could go out of business quickly. Some even think Yelp writes and posts the negative reviews themselves, so they can call business and get them to pay to remove them.

Yelp denies these allegation. It says it does not use negative reviews as leads for its sales staff. “Leads are determined purely by the reputation of that business…Any sort of timing beyond that would be coincidental,” a Yelp spokesperson told The East Bay Express.
I rarely pay attention to “amateur” reviews on the Internet, only because I believe negative experiences are much more likely to be reported than positive ones. What about you, do you trust your Internet peers’ opinions?

Source: http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/693355/is-yelpcom-legitimate.html

Hey guys, I’d like to take a moment and welcome you to my new corner office. From my office I have a view of the beautiful Reeser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon home of the Oregon State Beaver football team. It’s a cloudy day but on the bright side I have a new corner office, and it will be forever known as the official blog of Game Server Ratings.

From this day forward I will try my best to keep everyone who cares up-to-date with whats going on behind the scenes of gsprating.com and our affiliate websites. I’ll have some posts of raves, and rants as well as issues that arise in our community of gamers and business owners. I know this blog will get heated some days, but don’t let that get to you just read the advice and use it or lose it that decision is entirely up to you.

Thank you again for making Gsprating.com a sensational hit, and welcome to my corner office.

Bobby Samai
CEO of Game Server Ratings

Please visit http://www.gsprating.com/blog

Counter-Strike.com was registered back in 1998 and since then we have provided the highest quality game services known to man!

Experience ultra smooth game play on our servers featuring AMD 64-bit Quad Core Processors. Hardware is the most important factor when picking a host. Look for only the best. Open a ticket 24 hours a day and someone from our experienced support staff will respond to it quickly. We provide many different ways you can get support. We’re here to help!

We use Internap bandwidth and other top tier bandwidth to ensure the fastest connection possible to your server. Internap is one of the most highly rated providers of bandwidth and when looking at a game server company this needs to be considered.

Visit us online at www.counter-strike.com
Join us on our forums at forums.counter-strike.com