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MMORPG.com Newsletter Issue 41, August 28th, 2006
In the News Visit Library
On August 21st, the good people over at ArchLord announced that the game had moved into the Beta phase of its development. The beta is being populated by players who sign up at www.archlord.com/beta, but the only way to guarantee a spot is to preorder the game.

Read the news item here.

Earlier this week, NCsoft made the official announcement, unveiling Chronicle 5: Oath of Blood. The update, which is set for release on September 6th, will be made free to the game’s subscribers and includes new regions, new castles and clan halls and more.

Get the news here.

Guild Wars Nightfall, the newest game in the Guild Wars franchise, will make its debut on October 27th. According to the official press release from ArenaNet and NCsoft, this third addition to the Guild Wars franchise will see players “fight to hold back the night as a mad ruler attempts to free an outcast god and bring darkness to the continent of Elona.”

You can read about it here.

MMORPG.com Reviews More Reviews

Stargate World: Previews

With the recent announcement by the Sci-Fi Network that Stargate SG-1, the popular television series, would not be returning to the network for an 11th season. Aside from disappointing a number of hardcore fans, the announcement also has ramifications in the MMORPG industry and the development of the IP MMORPG, Stargate Worlds.

With this in mind, I thought it might be interesting to point people back at a pair of previews that we conducted and published here at the site. The first is an interview with Joe Ybarra, the Vice President of Product Development for Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment and the second with David “Zeb” Cook, most recently of City of Heroes / Villains fame, but currently the Lead System Designer for the game:

Preview with Joe Ybarra (GDC):

  • What he did say, was that this game is not going to be "orcs in space", and will offer something unique that is true to the Stargate franchise.
  • Ybarra went on to tell us that the game would be focused around small groups. Much like the TV series, most quests will focus around 4 man teams.
  • That will put the game's release in and around the 12th season of Stargate: SG1, if the series runs that long. Obviously, this is something that neither Cheyenne Mountain nor MGM can say for sure, but the franchise should still be running strong with the Atlantis series at that time.

Preview with David Cook (E3):

  • After all, SG 1 wouldn’t still be on the air if it didn’t have an extensive fan base. That fan base alone could make the game a success.
  • Combat-wise, David told us that the focus would be on “modern combat”. In that, they’re trying to simulate actual projectile combat.
  • We also talked a little bit about the story. While the exact details are still being hammered out, he tells us that they are striving to give players a sense of purpose from the very start of the game.

What impact SG-1’s cancellation will have on the game and its development is still unknown, but with the spin-off series, Stargate Atlantis still going strong, it is unlikely that the loss of the parent program will mean dire consequences for the MMORPG.

You can read the GDC preview, here.

You can read the E3 preview, here.

On-Site. Visit Boards

Lots of PAX coverage and a Podcast

This week, Dana Massey and Carolyn Koh headed out to Seattle to take in the Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX as it's more affectionately known. Meeting up with developers from games like: Pirates of the Burning Sea, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, Fury, Wizards of the Coast and more, makes for an interesting and entertaining read.

You can read all of our features from PAX by visiting MMORPG.com.

This week, Game/On's commentary duo, Garrett Fuller and Jon Wood return to discuss all things MMORPG. This time around, they"re talking about WoW update 1.12, a recent Farlan Entertainment press release and the legal issues surrounding an EVE online scam.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Game of the Week

Game of the week

Gods & Heroes gets the spotlight shone on it this week. Sometimes overshadowed by Perpetual Entertainment's "other game" (*cough Star Trek *cough*), Gods & Heroes is actually slated to come out first and carries the weight of big name publishers Sony.

Defined by tactical squad-based combat, Gods & Heroes starts you as the child of a Roman deity in search of fame. You're the hero. As you travel and gain experience, characters can hire and earn comrades in arms who then join them in their own instanced military camp. Combat is highly tactical and visually interactive through the company's stellar animations.

You can read more about Gods & Heroes – including a series of features we ran last summer – in their section of our site.

More Games
The Week That Was
21 Monday
Dark Age of Camelot: Labyrinth of the Minotaur Interview
22 Tuesday
Editorial: EverQuest Progression Server
23 Wednesday
EverQuest: Q&A
24 Thursday
Dark Age of Camelot: Dev Profile
25 Friday
Event Blog: PAX
26 Saturday
Editorial Debate: In-Game Advertising
27 Sunday

This week saw the return of our Editorial Debates. This time around, Dan Fortier takes on Staff Writer and podcast co-host, Garrett Fuller on the touchy subject of In-Game Advertising.

Here are Dan’s opening remarks:

Recently Funcom, makers of Anarchy Online, announced they were adding interactive billboards featuring advertisements for Toyota. I’m not sure wether to laugh or cry at a game developer trying to sell in-game adverts as a feature. I understand that this isn’t the first off the wall ad placed and the game is free to play and this a way to generate income, but please spare me the speech that supposed to get me excited about it.

This kind of thing has been going on in some form for quite a while with games like SWAT 4, Splinter Cell and a virtual horde of sports games placing ads for real life products into their games, but having a billboard for something that clearly has nothing to do with the world I’m in is just wrong. While certain ads can actually enhance the game somewhat by placing things you would expect to see in a parallel world, it borders on insulting to see something like Judge Dredd holding a Red Bull can.

Read the entire debate, here

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