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MMORPG.com Newsletter Issue 55, December 11th, 2006
In the News Visit Library
As of January 4th, 2007 ArchLord will be free to play. Codemasters made the announcement last week in a press release. This adapted MMO launched in October of this year and has met a barrage of poor reviews. Players still must purchase a copy of the game to play.

Read the news here.

On December 8th, a report surfaced on Wired News that MMO Engine makers Multiverse had struck a deal to create an MMORPG based on the Firefly universe. This cult-TV show had a short run on FOX a few years back and later inspired the film Serenity.

Get the news here.

Sigil Online Games and Sony Online Entertainment announced last Tuesday that pre-order boxes for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes are now available in stores. Although no official release date has been set, the move means players can likely expect to be playing Vanguard early next year.

See the news item here.

Preview More Reviews

Final Fantasy XI: MMORPG.com Review

In October, Derek Czerkaski took the time to review Final Fantasy XI. This multi-platform MMORPG (PC, PS2 and XBOX360) got its second look just days prior to its 3rd birthday. Czerkaski found the game to be extremely strong in some areas and weak in others, which worked out to middling scores.

While 6.5 out of 10 is a below-average review score, FFXI took home 8 out of 10 in Graphics, Value, Fun and Community and topped that with a 9 in Performance/Lag. The scores were offset by 3s in Customer Service and Role-play and a 5 for Sound.

Here are a few memorable quotes from his review:

  • Bringing in an approximate 500,000 subscriptions a month, FFXI has proven itself to consistently please its old player base, while continuing to draw in new customers to the world of Vana'diel.
  • Even if you do manage to hit the level cap, you will not be able to progress without the aid of numerous friends/allies, and the missions can take several hours to complete. It requires a certain degree of dedication and networking to really enjoy advancing the plot.
  • Role-playing is present in FFXI and the world of Vana'diel, even though it's very, very rare. There are presently not any designated role-playing servers, and it's a rarity to observe much present in-game. If role-playing is your hobby, I'd have to advise against FFXI.
  • The end-game community will make or break many players interest in the game. It is one of cut-throat competition, and there's really no room for people who aren't there to win.

You can read the full review here.

On-Site. Visit Boards

Game/On and Reader's Choice

MMORPG.com's Game/On Podcast was on an interview week as John-Scott Tynes, the Producer of Pirates of the Burning Sea, joined Senior Editor Dana Massey for a sit-down interview. The topics were broad and answered many new questions on this upcoming piratey-experience.

You can listen to the interview here.

On Tuesday, the final stage of the 2006 MMORPG.com Reader's Choice Awards got under way. After the initial open nominations, we put each game that received over 10% of the original vote into finalist brackets for you, the readers, to decide. EVE Online and World of Warcraft dominated the launched-games categories. In light of this, MMORPG.com will revisit the nomination process again next year.

Please, cast your votes here

Game of the Week

Game of 

the week

NCSoft's Dungeon Runners is our Game of the Week. We first heard about this title at last year's E3, but in recent weeks, the Austin-based hype machine has been cranking up yet again.

Promised to be free to download and free to play, Dungeon Runners represents a new business model in the North American MMO market. With this title, NcSoft hopes to rake in their profits through a "membership system" where players gain access to premium content for $4.95 per month.

An isometric dungeon crawling game, DR boasts "random generated dungeons", support for multiple playstyles, WASD control, thousands of items and much more. The point of view is similar to what players might remember from Diablo II, while the art style is bright and exaggeratedin a way that brings World of Warcraft to mind.

NCSoft recently reworked the game's website and dropped the beta NDA from all testers. Since then, chatter has picked up tenfold across our website.

You can read about Dungeon Runners here.

More Games
The Week That Was
04 Monday
Auto Assault: Dev Journal
05 Tuesday
2006 Reader's Choice Awards: Finals
06 Wednesday
Secondary Market Debate: McQuaid v. Kipe
07 Thursday
Ultima Online: Interview
08 Friday
The Matrix Online: Re-Review

On Monday, Dan Fortier weekly column looked at what he calls The GAME.

On Tuesday, our Community Spotlight was cleverly titled Carebear Stare!

Carolyn Koh argued on Wednesday that girl gamers are real.

In his second column, Steve Wilson asked What Makes WoW Dumb?.

Finally, on Friday David Souza talked about the ups and downs of WoW's end-game.

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