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MMORPG.com Newsletter Issue 37, July 31st, 2006
In the News Visit Library
E3 is going the way of the wooly mammoth and the dinosaur. The Entertainment Software Association announced that E3, as it was known and loved, has come to an end. They revealed early this week that the popular Video Games Industry trade show would no longer take place in its current form, electing instead to do away with the pomp and circumstance in favor of a smaller, more intimate atmosphere.

Read the news item here.

Turbine’s The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar entered the Alpha stage of the game’s development on Thursday. The game, which is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic series, has seen over 125,000 fans sign up for a chance to participate in the upcoming beta phase.

Get the news here.

Following in the footsteps of popular MMORPGs like World of WarCraft, EVE online announced the release of a trading card game based on their popular Sci-Fi MMORPG. On August 12th, Gen Con Indy will become the site of a 128 person tournament that sees prizes totaling $10,000.

You can read about it here.

MMORPG.com Reviews More Reviews

Zboard: Fang Review

Normally the reviews section of our newsletter is reserved for game reviews. This week though, we bring you a review of a different sort as News Editor Jon “Stradden” Wood sits down and takes Zboard’s “Fang” Gamepad for a test drive.

Below, you will find some excerpts from Wood’s Review:

  • The Gamepad itself retails for about $34.99.
  • The functionality is similar to that of their MERC Gaming Keyboard, but built as a peripheral for those of us who don’t want to get rid of our trusty keyboards, but who might still want an enhanced gaming experience.
  • The Fang bills itself as being “ambidextrous”, meaning that it can be easily used by either right or left-handers.
  • The software comes pre-programmed with some default settings for specific games. In terms of MMORPGs, it covers: Guild Wars, World of WarCraft, City of Heroes/Villains, and EverQuest II. It also sports titles from a number of other genres.
  • Not everyone is as clumsy as I am, but if you are, then this little piece of technology might be for you. It certainly isn’t fragile.
  • I tried this gamepad using EverQuest II. I have to say that I was disappointed in my experience with the Fang in playing this game, despite the fact that it actually has default controls for it.
  • My biggest gripe about my experience was the fact that I had to study the key configuration very carefully.
  • …the location of the buttons was extremely convenient, and actually expanded the amount of time that I was able to play continuously and comfortably from about an hour at a time to two or three without any wrist pain.
  • I personally found this product to be mediocre as an all-around tool, pretty frustrating as an MMORPG tool and a fair bit of fun when used with a non-typing genre like FPS.

Wood scored the gamepad in three distinct categories: Physical Quality (5/5), Play Quality MMORPG (2.5/5), and Play Quality FPS (4/5). With an overall score of 3/5, the Fang could easily be a hit or miss proposition for MMO and FPS players alike.

You can Wood's review, here.

On-Site. Visit Boards

Two New Contests

MMORPG.com is proud to announce that we have partnered with Turbine Entertainment to bring you a great new contest! From now until September 1, 2006 at 9PM we will be taking entries into our new Lord of the Rings Online Beta Giveaway!

All you have to do to enter the contest is have an activated account at MMORPG.com and complete our simply entry form. As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com during the contest, the more chances you have at winning! (see official rules for details).

Find more on the contest here.

From now until Sept 5, 2006 all of our members can enter to win a free 60 day account for EVE Online - the acclaimed sci-fi space MMORPG by CCP Games.

We will be giving out a total of 25 accounts. As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com the better your odds of winning! (see official rules for details).

Get the details here

Game of the Week

Game of the week

This week, our Game of the Week is The Chronicles of Spellborn

Being built on the Unreal Engine, this game promises to offer something unique and interesting in terms of story, setting and art.

The developers of the game have given us a list of things that set this game apart from any others:

"Having your own virtual identity from the start and to grow this identity meaningful by:

  • Dress to impress: From day 1 you will be able to look cool by choosing and changing clothes, armors, weapons, skills.
  • Influencing the world with your actions: This ranges from lifelike statues of your character in Quarterstone to unlocking and owning new parts of the worlds through questing, politics and conquest.
  • ‘Join and play’, you don’t have to walk whole marathons before the fun starts.
  • ‘The Chronicles of Spellborn’ combat system based on skill decks. You will be able to create your own individual fighting style."
  • Check out our Chronicles of Spellborn screenshot gallery! Click here!

    More Games
    The Week That Was
    31 Monday
    Hero Online: Hands On Preview
    1 Tuesday
    ArchLord: Interview
    2 Wednesday
    EverQuest: Interview
    3 Thursday
    Review: Zboard "Fang"
    4 Friday
    Gods and Heroes: Interview
    5 Saturday
    6 Sunday
    Greetings One and All!

    This week, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about the idea of PvP players and non-PvP players. In reading through forum after forum, I see that generally, MMORPGers cast themselves into one of these two roles. Either you enjoy PvP or you don’t. What I find interesting about that is the fact that the two sides can’t seem to get along.

    It’s gotten to the point where name-calling (carebear, ganker, etc.) comes up in almost any discussion of the topic. My question is why? What is it about these two groups that makes it so difficult for the vocal supporters of each side to come together without argument.

    So, is it possible to create a game design that makes both the hardcore PvPers and the hardcore PvEers happy?

    - Jon Wood

    Let us know what you think, here.

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