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During last week's Gamescom, MMORPG.com's John Milburn had the opportunity to check out a special Rift presentation about the upcoming 1.5 patch, a patch that is set to bring some interesting new features into the game. Check out John's report on the presentation liberally peppered with questions about some of the features. Keep reading!

Now we're showing a casual player dungeon which will come out in 1.5. It's a dungeon made for solo play or about two players. It's based around the Hammerknell lore and has its own story and great content and could be completed within 30 to 40 minutes. The pressure of having an optimal class setup is out the window here. You can have two clerics or two rogues, any class will do! It's pretty easy content.

Read more of John Milburn's Rift: Gamescom - What's Up with 1.5?

Comic books. We all love 'em. But what is it these days with every comic book hero (or villain) being given their own Hollywood treatment? In Coyote's Howling, venerable columnist Coyote entertains the idea that maybe this sort of thing simply must STOP. Check it out and then leave your comments!

As a writer, I absolutely understand the need to appeal to a larger-than-target audience in order to make a buck. But I also understand that you can do so by presenting solid material that doesn't pander to the crowd or dumb down the content. Hollywood on the other hand seems hell bent on using the same tired two tricks in attempts to appeal to that larger audience, only to ultimately appeal to none.

Read more Coyote's Howling: Who Else is Sick of Comic Book Movies?

Earlier this week, a video interview with one of Bioware's developers stirred up a veritable poop storm of controversy when it was suggested that Star Wars: The Old Republic would not feature same-sex relationships between players and compantions. In his latest column, MMORPG.com Managing Editor Bill Murphy offers his opinion on the issue. Read on and then weigh in with your (calm, cool & collected) thoughts in the comments.

But in all honesty, I guess I just don’t get the hubbub. I won’t go into the reasons BioWare has for not including this option (did they give one?), but I’d like to comment on why it’s such a big deal in the first place. I’m straight, not narrow. And while there wasn’t (that I know of) any same-sex relations in either trilogy, I’m willing to bet there have been a few instances of such things in the bazillion books which have been written. Is there then precedent?

Read more of Bill Murphy's Sex & Games & Rolling Dice.

Trion has let us know that its inaugural title, Rift, has been nominated as a finalist in three categories for the 2011 Game Developers Choice Online awards. Categories include Best New Online Game, Best Online Technology, and Best Online Visual Arts. GDC Online Awards will be handed out on October 10th.

The GDC Online conference will also will feature the Audience Award, which will be chosen via public vote. Fans can nominate Rift starting next month. Winners of the Game Developer Choice Online Awards will be announced during the awards ceremony on the evening of October 12, 2011 in Austin, TX.

Read more about Rift.

Face of Mankind is now being developed by Nexeon Technologies. The team has sent out notice that the website and forums have been given a much-needed facelift and have a laundry list of game features and fixes that have been implemented in just the last few weeks.

Some of the new in-game features that have been implemented in the past few weeks are:

  • Implementation of New York City: Brooklyn!
  • Implementation of New York City: Ground Zero!
  • More Frequent Patches and Bug Fixes.
  • More User Control (Faction, Department, Group and Cell Leaders).
  • Account Portal Integration (Forums, Account, Billing, and Support).
  • New players now begin with a starting apartment in NYC - Brooklyn.
  • Implementation and expansion of a game tutorial for new players, so the transition into the game is now a much easier process.

Read more about Face of Mankind.


Originally posted by Tombill

Players will be able to earn money by playing a video game. Hmm, you'll be able to sell loot from a boss you defeated. All within a regular player driven Auction House.

Let me see ... Diablo on PC, XBOX, PS3 ... Am I the only one getting the idea it will the next big hot thing in 2012?


And why oh why Diablo is not represented on this site?


 


You talk about, it has quests, levels, rpg, action, dungeons, gear chase, crafting and a real money auction house, even a so much sought after "hardcore mode"...


The OP even talks about guilds and grouping. Explain why LOL is in this list and not Diablo ? Afraid Blizzard has another number one on their hands ? My bet is on Diablo, not on SW TOR btw, PC and Console play combined with real money to go for and free to play...


Diablo could blow everyhting out of the water.



 


Actually, we ran a poll a couple weeks ago about adding it. We're reworking our games list to be able to include other types of games like Diablo 3 and LoL and others.


Well, ya see, Sukiyaki, the article is intended to take ONE side with you all discussing the OTHER side. That's pretty much the definition of "devil's advocate". ;)


Wargaming.net has announced that a new special world event called Battle for the Dnieper. The live event will mirror the true four month long battle fought during WWII. Players participating in the event will see experience gains, gold acquisition and more.

Starting from 11:30 AM UTC, August 25, and till 11:00 AM UTC, August 26, the profit gained from Hummel, SU-8 and M41 SPGs will be doubled.

Starting from 11:30 AM UTC, August 25, and till 11:00 AM UTC, August 29, the following oppties will be available:

  • Renaming a tanker will cost 10 gold only;
  • Buy Valentine, Matilda, PzKpfw B2 740 (f), and Ram-II premium tanks at half-price;
  • Prices for ?-34, SU-76, KV-1S, PzKpfw III/IV, PzKpfw IV, PzKpfw VI Tiger, M7, M4A3E8 Sherman and T1 Heavy reduced by half!

Read more on the World of Tanks site.

You know, it's funny. I remember the original Diablo and the hackers/cheaters/exploiters. Those issues made guilds actually -meaningful- by creating a whole sub-group of what were then called "100% legit" players, or those who only used equipement they found themselves. Legit guilds played together knowing they were 'safe' from duped/hacked items. If they engaged in PvP, it was amongst themselves or within an alliance of other legit guilds.


My hope? To see guilds once again have meaning for players by creating gaming environments that are comfortable for players in whatever form they take (i.e. not allowing RMT purchases on characters in the guild etc.).


Sulaa: Opinions by nature of their being are never wrong. They are simply opinions, not facts. Secondly, and as the disclaimer at the top of the article clearly states:


Please note that this article does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the staff of MMORPG.com, the article’s writer or any of the game companies that may be discussed.  The Devil's Advocate is an opportunity for the oft-shunned and little discussed “Other Side of the Story” to be heard, promoting open discussion on a heavily contested subject.


gPotato's European division has announced that a new "fusion" MMO is currently in development by Noria. The announcement is being celebrated with a new game play trailer that shows off some wicked weapons (check out the flame thrower!) and mounts (flying pod racer type vehicles).

SEVENCORE’s distinctive fusion-fantasy art style will set the game apart visually from every other MMORPG. Each race and faction draws on their cultural diversity to bring unique spells, armours and weapons to players as they charge into the accelerating conflict that threatens the game’s world.

“We are excited to partner with Noria on SEVENCORE. The studio is full of very talented people, and we are working symbiotically with them to deliver an extremely rich and fun experience to the European community,” said Nicolas Pajot, COO, Gala Networks Europe. “SEVENCORE is one of the most promising projects we have ever worked on and we are certain it will be a huge amount of fun for players when it launches.”

Check out the Sevencore teaser site.

Rusty Hearts closed beta players will be able to log in later today to check out the new material coming with Phase 2 of the testing period. Developers have promised a new costume item for players logging in prior to 2:00 a.m. PST on August 25th.

Here is what you can expect to see in Phase 2:

  • Complete Town Restructure
  • New Random Quest System
  • New Weapon Models
  • Revamped Item Quality System
  • Skill Tree System
  • Tons of New Equipment and Gear

Read more about the upcoming changes on the Rusty Hearts blog.


So she claims it won't be as much as expected (does she even know what people expect?) then you write that you don't have the foggiest clue as to what it will be. Is it just me or does that seem extra dumb. I would like to add that auction sites not affiliated to gaming often charge a small amount for a listing perfectly able to make huge profits that way.



It won't be as much as it could be. Take for instance an item that sells for $500. If Blizz charges a flat $2.00 to list and $5.00 at close of sale (I doubt it will be that much), then they've "made" $7.00.


If Blizz chooses instead to go with a $2.00 listing fee and then charged 10% of the final sale ($50.00), they've made $52.00. Pretty big jump in revenue generation, isn't it?


I never said that they wouldn't make money, even HUGE amounts of it. What I said was that they will make -less- money. The premise I intimated was that Blizzard would make significantly more money if they went the percentage route than they will by charging flat rates.

The Troy Online team has released new information about the secondary class feature. Beginning at level 49, players can opt to continue progress in their primary class or choose a secondary class on which to focus.

ALT1 Games has revealed that no users reached the secondary class level because the commercial released was just released on Friday the 19th, but it is certain that many players will eventually get the chance to pick their class. Troy Online should be an even greater experience once many players have experienced many different classes.

Read more about Troy Online.

NASA may be finished with the space shuttle but it is ready to blast off into virtual space with the coming of Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond. The NASA-sponsored MMO is scheduled to launch into beta space in late 2012. Targeting the 5-24 age group, Astronaut Academy recreates the solar system that features space exploration, career advancement and awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The game will be designed to be fun and engaging, scientifically accurate, enabling career exploration and STEM learning. The target audience will be the 5-24 age and the gaming and science enthusiast markets. It will have an open architecture to support expandability and linkages to multiple technologies and media. The game will be built using the Unreal Engine 3 with initial support for the iOS and Windows PC platforms. 

The beta test for Astronaut Academy is planned for December 2012 and the Astronaut Academy Handbook (an overview of the science and technology of the game's setting) is also in development for release on iOS soon.

We've started a Kickstarter page to help fund the beta. For more information visit http://kck.st/qinz75

Get involved in the community on the official Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond forum.

In a new opinion piece over at GameTheoryOnline.com, Nadia Oxford clearly lays out her theory that World of Warcraft is in its declining years. Citing the gradual decline in subscribers, the encroachment of F2P revenue models and more, Oxford makes her case, not that WoW is dead, simply declining.

The next World of Warcraft expansion will certainly perk up interest in the game, but in the long term, World of Warcraft might be in the sunset of its undisputed reign over the online gaming landscape. The free-to-play model is letting players experiment in all kinds of fantasy lands, which gives them pause before committing to paying out rent to the land of Azeroth. World of Warcraft recently went free-to-play until level 20, but consider its competition: Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and the big beastie looming on the horizon: Star Wars:The Old Republic. World of Warcraft is no longer the obvious choice in what was once an under-realized genre.

Read more at GameTheoryOnline.net.

During Gamescom last week, The Secret World became a bit less secret as Funcom developers began shining the light on more of the game's details. MMORPG.com's John Milburn had the opportunity to talk with Funcom's Ragnar Tørnquist about persistent PvP. Check out our exclusive interview and then leave a thought or two in the comments.

How do you get from one area to another?

It was a true challenge to work around loading times, so we created the so-called world within the world, within this ancient realm you'll be able to descend through the portals. It's a little bit like in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time. It's a bit similar to that: inside of this realm the distance is shorter. You'll only move a little bit, then go through another portal. Suddenly, for instance, you go from London and then you end up in North America or in Egypt. It's really a cool way of making the travel feel more seamless then it would be if you clicked on a portal.

Read more of John Milburn's The Secret World: Gamescom – Ragnar Talks Persistent PVP.

Grand Fantasia players have more to explore thanks to new content added in the latest update. New maps, dungeons and zones have been added. The world PvP system is now in place as is a higher level cap.

New content included in this patch:
  • Introduction of World PvP – Players now have the option to duke it out amongst each other with the introduction of World PvP. Gain exclusive “PK Club” fame points that are redeemable for “PvP rewards.”
  • Additional Maps, Dungeons and Instances – Visit the “Nightmare Corridors,” a 2-player instanced dungeon with over 30 floors that will keep players on their feet.
  • Level Cap Raise –Players now have the ability to achieve up to level 85 especially with the help of additional dungeons and instances in game.
  • New “Looking for Party” Function – If players had trouble finding partners to complete quests there is now an option to “Auto Party” in-game that will allow players an easier method to team play.
  • New Ultimate System – The new Ultimate System allows players to upgrade their stats with the help of the Guardians of Saphael.

Read more about Grand Fantasia.

Atlantica Online players have a new 'tower defense' zone in which to play. Called Spelltower Siege, two teams of up to fifty players each (plus one mercenary each) square off against each other. One team is the attacker, one the defender in classic tower defense mode.

The attacking army is a combination of players from the remaining five servers. The server members who contribute to the battle the most will be declared the winning server and possess control of the towers for that week. The winning server will also receive loot, buffs and other rewards that will be shared through the entire server.

The towers, located on the Africa continent, are accessible to players level 100 and above on all servers through the Titan server. Each Spelltower Control conflict will last up to 50 minutes and players with high “Might” will have a higher chance to reserve a spot in the battle. Participating players will be allowed to take their main character and one mercenary of their own choosing into the battle.

Read more about Spelltower Siege on the Atlantica Online site.

MMORPG.com's Ripper X ventures into Dragon Nest to offer his first impressions of the game. But wait! That's not all! We have a juicy double feature as Ripper has a second video featuring the new Arena PvP mode in Dragon Nest. Be sure to check out Dragon Nest: Ripper X - First Impressions & PvP Preview!

In today's Devil's Advocate, MMORPG.com Associate Editor Suzie Ford takes a look at cash auctions and opines that they are not only good for buyers and sellers, but that they are also good for gaming and developers. Check it out and then leave a comment or two when you're finished!

One of the cold hard facts about gaming since the days of yore is that virtual items have value. They are valuable to those who hunt them and valuable to those who buy them. Just a cursory glance at Ebay reveals that the virtual goods market is alive and well. Put in “Diablo 2 items” and check out the over two hundred pages of goods that pop up. And this is for a game that is over ten years old! Gamers have clearly shown over the years that they are willing to use and even like the virtual goods market. Whether we agree with it or not, the idea of selling pixelated goods online is here to stay.

Read more of Suzie Ford's The Devil's Advocate: Blizzard’s Cash Auctions are a Bad Idea.

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