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Issue 236, June 7, 2010
In the news
Turbine announced this week that The Lord of the Rings Online will be going Free to Play.

Read more here.
ArenaNet announced their Guild Wars 2 convention plans this week, revealing details on the date of the game's first hands-on demo.

Read more here.
Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts announced Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures this week, a free-to-play MMO based on the Clone Wars series.

Read more here.
Get more news on our site here!
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Re-Reviewing Camelot
Nine years after its original launch date, Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot is still running and our own Adam Tingle ventured back into the game to give it a new review.

In honesty, Dark Age of Camelot is a very mixed bag; overall the game is surprisingly pleasant, refreshing and very good for its age. The Player versus Player is still hugely entertaining and the game is still active (even if it is just one server). The problem for me however lies in its survival path; the game has changed into something different, something less adventurous and ultimately less immersive. You cannot help but wonder why doesn't the developer simply start every character at 50 and make the game about gathering gear for your character rather than concerning yourself with a short leveling stint.

If you love PvP and can put up with a purely one dimensional experience then absolutely try this game out. If you are however looking for an immersive MMORPG with great PvE, then ultimately this is not the game for you. .

You can read the full article here.

More reviews can be found on our site here.
LOTRO: Free to Play Interview's Michael Bitton sat down with Turbine's Kate Paiz and Adam Mersky to discuss LOTRO's Free to Play re-launch.

Turbine learned a lot from DDO's re-launch as well, and they'll be carrying their experience over to LOTRO. Like DDO, the LOTRO Store will only offer items of convenience, no one will be "paying to win" when LOTRO re-launches as a F2P game. Generally, the only time you will really see gear available in the LOTRO Store will be as "Starter Packs" which give new players a little bit of a leg up in the very early parts of the game.

Also like DDO, players who are current subscribers will not see much of a change in the way things are now, they'll have access to all the content they have now, and enjoy some additional benefits such as shared storage, 20 cosmetic wardrobe slots, as well as a 500 Turbine Point stipend every month. Lifetime subscribers are just the same, they simply won't have to pay for their continued VIP access. Current subscribers have the added bonus of being able to earn their 500 Turbine points beginning now, giving them a little bit of stockpile when the game switches over in the Fall. Though, those of you who play both DDO and LOTRO might be disappointed to find out that Turbine Points purchased for the DDO Store will not be valid in the LOTRO Store and vice-versa, they are entirely separate.

Check out the interview here.

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This week's Game of the Week is Runes of Magic.

Back in 2009, reviewer Sean Bulger took a look at this free to play fantasy MMO, echo general sentiments that while the game is a bit generic and formulaic, Runes of Magic still hits the mark and gives you good bang for your buck.

Free-to-play games have a certain stigma attached to them by most people, at least in the West. They tend to have less content, fairly simplistic gameplay, and are often little more than mindless-grind fests. I've played a number of these types of games in the past, and every time I do, I question why I haven't learned my lesson yet. Runes of Magic has shown me why: because there's always the exception to the rule, and hopefully one that will be a trend-setter. It is far from being a perfect game, but many gamers out there may find that Runes of Magic has enough to it to hold their interest.

While Runes was developed by Taiwanese company Runewalker Entertainment - it was localized for the West by the German company Frogster - it shares a surprising amount in common with Western MMOs. In fact, I would say that Runes of Magic is an excellent example of a formulaic, generic MMORPG. Everything from the classes, the world, the story, the quests, the combat... It is all very generic. Honestly, even the UI looks like it was ripped right out of World of WarCraft or Warhammer Online. Yet, the game does do a few interesting things to it and it does come at the low, low price of $0 a month. That's hard to argue with.

Learn more about Runes of Magic here, or check out our game list here.
The Week that Was
Monday, May 31
Free Realms Dev Blog: Harvest Coin with New Jackpot Plants? Yes, please!

Tuesday, June 1
Black Prophecy: Modular Shipbuilding System

Wednesday, June 2
Justin Webb: My Excuse

Thursday, June 3
Garrett Fuller: The Westernization of Eastern Art in MMOs

Friday, June 4
Did You Know?
Hey everyone! Just wanted to remind you about the launch of a new Mobile version of mobile will work on all major smartphones, as well as a number of older phones. The Mobile version of the site features a minimalist layout that will let you get right to our news and features, and what is really exciting is we even managed to hook in our game list database!
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