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MMORPG.com Newsletter Issue 37, July 31st, 2006
In the News Visit Library
Funcom announced a change in the launch window for their much-anticipated IP MMORPG, Age of Conan. The game's new launch date is between March and May of 2007. The announcement comes on the heels of a publishing deal with SCi/Eidos that sees that company handling retail publishing, while Funcom retains rights to digital distribution.

Read the news item here.

Blizzard announced that The Burning Crusade, the upcoming expansion for their hit game World of WarCraft, will allow players access to classes that were previously unavailable to their faction. Blood Elves for example, are a part of the Horde, but will be able to play as Paladins while the Draenei will have access to the Shaman class.

You can read the release here.

MGame USA announced the launch of their MMORPG, Hero Online. The game debuts on Monday, July 31st. Hero Online, a Korean game localized for a North American launch, promises a number of features: no subscriptions, real-life prize giveaways and a policy that allows beta testers to carry their latest characters into launch.

You can read the article here

MMORPG.com Reviews More Reviews

Hero Online: Preview

On Monday, MMORPG.com released a launch-day preview of Hero Online. Long-time staff writer Carolyn Koh pens the preview.

Koh begins her preview by warning users that because this game is free-to-play, which includes no monthly fee or client cost, the game should not be compared to MMOs like WoW or EQII, but rather to others games with a similar pricing model.

Below, you will find a sample of what Koh has to say about the game:

  • In my First Look at the game, I described Hero Online as a cross between Street Fighter and Diablo, set in medieval China. Several more weeks of play has not lessened that impression.
  • Character development is simplistic.
  • Everything that is dropped has a use which is quite a change from looting rat tails, scorpion stings, bloody bear paws or other vendor “fodder”.
  • Grouping seems to happen randomly. No one asks to party. You simply respond to an invite or issue an invitation. If you like the party, you stay. If you don’t, you leave.
  • The pet system adds flavor and we are promised a better quest system.
  • Combat is fast and intense with fast spawning mobs, wanderers and the occasional trains. The animation looks fantastic.
  • The grind… yes the grind. It did not take combat long to get repetitive as there were only so many zones and so many mobs to kill.
  • Hero Online is a good looking game with fast action and several interesting features. For what it is, I have found it enjoyable.
You can read Carolyn's preview here.



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Game/On

This past Friday, MMORPG.com released the newest episode of Game/On, our official podcast. This being the end of July, we put together a combination of discussion and an interview in our month-end “Super-Show”.

Co-hosts Jon Wood and Garrett Fuller tackle a number of important issues, such as the effects of MMORPGs on the single-player game market, Blizzard's upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Age of Conan and more.

In the interview segment, Jon Wood fills in for regular interviewer Dana Massey and sits down with Adam Davidson (Producer) and Sam Han (Development Liaison) of Lineage II to discuss the upcoming Chronicle 5.

You can find the podcast here!

Game of the Week

Game of the week

With MGame USA poised to release its game, Hero Online, we look at another offering from the same company. The game is Knight Online. Launched in November of 2004, the game carries a rating of 7.4 by our readers.

Here is a sample of what Knight Online’s own website has to say about their game:

"With over 2 million people logging on to play from around the world, Knight Online represents one of the biggest MMO communities that are around. Some of the most exciting features of Knight Online are the most involving, persistent and large-scale wars between players, and its own built in party system."

You can read more about Knight Online on their official website.

More Games
The Week That Was
24 Monday
Fury: Interview
25 Tuesday
Hero's Journey: Dev Journal
26 Wednesday
The Chronicles of Spellborn: Dev Profile
27 Thursday
9 Dragons: Clan Feature
28 Friday
EverQuest II: Interview
29 Saturday
N/A
30 Sunday
N/A
Commentary

As of today, E3 no longer exists in its current form. Instead, it has been turned into a smaller event that bares no resemblance to its popular predecessor.

In this editor’s opinion, the announcement is going to change the way that many companies do business. E3 has always been the lynchpin of yearly development plans. With so much money, time and effort previously being expended for the show, it will be interesting to see the way that the industry adapts to the change.

I personally suspect that more time and effort will be put into traditionally smaller events like GDC and AGC, as companies take advantage of the press coverage to demo their wares and to make large-scale announcements.

In the end only time will tell what effect this announcement will have, but it is safe to say that this is the end of an era.

- Jon Wood, News Editor

Read the official press release here.

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