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Issue 197, September 14, 2009
In the news
Turbine re-launched their Dungeons and Dragons Online MMORPG this past Wednesday in its new, microntransaction-based format. Rebranding as DDO: Eberron Unlimited, the developers hope to bring a new audience to the game under a new format that allows play of at least the basic game free of charge.

Read more here.
CCP, the makers of the MMO EVE Online, revealed some new details on their Dominion update which will see changes made to the game's sovereignty system. Among other things, the developers are removing sovereignty levels, adding infrastructure and a Sovereignty Dashboard.

Read more here.
After numerous delays (the expansions was originally slated for a summer 2007 launch), Mythic has now officially launched the eighth expansion to their long-enduring MMO Ultima Online. Among other things, the new expansion includes a new race in the Gargoyles, a new dungeon, new skills and more.

Read more here.
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Mortal Online: First Q&A Are you concerned that as an independent development studio looking to break into the MMO market that your game will be overshadowed by big studio games?

Mats Persson: No. Mortal Online is a niche game and we don't see ourselves as competitors to the big names out there. To be big you have to have mass-appeal, and to have that you will have to cater to casual players, in turn meaning lowering the difficulty of everything from combat, PvP and crafting, and introduce a whole dimension of solo-play features such as quests and story progression, not to mention easy-to-understand concepts like levels and classes. And that's the opposite of our game. Can you tell us how classes work in MO?

Mats Persson: There are no classes in the game. I'd better say this first to avoid confusion, as by "classes" most people mean some kind of template you choose from the beginning of the game that also defines your character's options and progress in the game. And no, we don't have anything like that.

You can read the full interview here.

More Interviews can be found on our site here.
Dana Massey The Elusive MMORTS

In his weekly column this past Thursday,'s Dana Massey explored the concept of MMORTS games and looked at some of the reasons that as of yet no games from this genre have emerged as notably successful. Here is a taste:

"The MMORTS is the Sasquatch of the video game industry. It sounds like a great idea and many people would love to find one, but no matter how hard developers try, they've never been able to successfully pin it down.

"That's not to say it hasn't been tried. There have been some noble attempts (Dreamlords), some false starts (Bellarium), and a few people still trying (Mytheon), but so far, no one has had even a modicum of the success of a more traditional MMORPG or even a single player RTS."

Check out the column here.

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This week's Game of the Week is Fallen Earth, a post-apocalyptic MMO set in a universe where humanity has been decimated by a mysterious plague. It's a kill or be killed world where the ability to make your own gear is almost as important as how you use it.

Six factions battle for control of The Grand Canyon Province in the year 2156, and players begin their careers in the middle of it, choosing which side they will help and which sides they will fight.

Developed by the team at Icarus Studio, Fallen Earth is an independently produced MMO that hopes to take its place among the strong players in a very difficult market. Looking beyond the standard fantasy and occasional sci-fi fare of the currently released games, they look at capture the imaginations of post-cataclysm fans, bringing that sub-genre into the limelight.

The game is set to launch for the general public early next week, on the 22nd of September and a limited number of players, those who preordered the game, have been in game since the 10th.

While fallen Earth has had its share of development snags, including two recent delays that saw the game's launch moved from September 9th to the 15th and then to its eventual final date of Sept. 22, it has also managed to build a loyal fan base and will be well worth watching out for over the next week.

Learn more about Fallen Earth here, or check out our game list here.
The Week that Was
Monday, September 07
Mortal Online Interview

Tuesday, September 08
Old Republic PAX Reveal

Wednesday, September 09
Aion PAX Preview

Thursday, September 10
The Secret World Reveal

Friday, September 11
Conan Expansion Demo
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