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General : Best Overall Game

Posted Dec 10, 2008 by Jon Wood wraps up our nominations for the 2008 Reader's Choice Awards by asking our readers what active, currently released MMO is the best overall.

Well, this feature marks the last of our nominations for the 2008 Reader's Choice Awards and we save the best, and possibly most interesting, for last.

While in all of our other categories, the editorial staff here at provided a list of nominees for the various awards, this time around, we're throwing the doors wide open to any released game on our Game List.

In case the above text hadn't given it away, it is time for you to decide which MMORPG is the best overall, regardless of launch date, genre, business model, or any other restriction (other than the game's release and current active status of course).

Voting for all of the awards will close three weeks from today on December 31st. The editorial staff here at would like to thank everyone in advance for participating in our awards. While we could have given out Editor's Choice awards, we know that no one knows this genre like you, the players and so have made the Reader's Choice Awards an annual event that will continue well into the future.

Happy Voting and Happy Holidays from the staff and volunteers here at

Vote for the Best Overall Game

Star Wars Galaxies : Collections of Note

Posted Dec 10, 2008 by Jon Wood Star Wars Galaxies Correspondent RJ hubbard writes this interesting piece on various collections found in SOE's Star Wars Galaxies.

Collections have been part of SWG for over a year now; there are literally hundreds of collections to complete. Some simply give XP whereas others grant cool rewards like titles, weapons, pets, DNA, decorator items, abilities, etc. Here is a quick guide to some of most rewarding or fun collections. It’s by far not definitive and certainly not inclusive – as with anything SWG, the value of the reward depends on the player and play style.

Contraband Collection

I have to admit, this is my favorite collection and yes, it IS because I am an old school smuggler/pistoleer. How could I NOT like a collection of contraband that rewards me with a cool kinetic based pistol with unique animation, skin, sound effect, and range bonus?

Complete the following collections by finding all five pieces of each:

Read Collections of Note

Vendetta Online : Vendetta Online Extended Trial Offer

Posted Dec 10, 2008 by Craig McGregor and Guild Software have teamed up to bring a very special trial offer to the community! These special keys will add 30 days to any standard trial account. This offer is exclusive only to users of so get your key while supplies last!


General : Atari Acquires Cryptic

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Keith Cross

Atari is reported to have acquired Cryptic Studios, the developer which created City of Heroes, and who is currently working on Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and a third unannounced project, $28 Million plus an extra $20 Million in potential sales incentives.

LYON, FRANCE – 9 December 2008 – Infogrames Entertainment, the parent company of Atari, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to fully acquire Cryptic Studios Inc., one of the world’s leading developers, publishers and operators of Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games.

The transaction encompasses all of Cryptic’s proprietary IP, tools, technology and work-in-progress and integrates all members of the leadership team and employees into Infogrames. This acquisition is a critical step in the implementation of Atari’s strategy to become a leading online game developer and publisher.

Cryptic is currently developing three unique MMO franchises, planned for release over the next three years on PC and next-generation consoles, including Champions Online to be released in 2009 and Star Trek Online to be released in 2010. A third game currently in development will be announced in the near future.

Established in 2000 and headquartered in Los Gatos, California, USA, Cryptic has a proven track record of delivering successful MMO franchises (City of Heroes and City of Villains sold to NCSoft) generating over USD 100 million in lifetime revenues and up to 180,000 peak subscribers.

Read more here.

Puzzle Pirates : Fifth Anniversary

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Puzzle Pirates are celebrating their games fifth anniversary since the game's launch back in 2003.

SAN FRANCISCO – Dec. 9, 2008 – This week, Three Rings celebrated the five year anniversary of the highly successful casual massively multi-player online game Puzzle Pirates.

Launching in December 2003, Puzzle Pirates broke new ground by combining mini-game fun with a socially interactive virtual world. Since launch, over seven million accounts have been created with almost two million signing on from word of mouth or player referral. Three Rings has earned over $13 million in revenues, with a large portion coming from the doubloon micro-transaction service launched in 2005. Five years after launch, Puzzle Pirates has accumulated 250 million hours of play time and still retains players from 2003.

Three Rings CEO Daniel James said, “Puzzle Pirates has met our every expectation, and allowed Three Rings to grow as an independent pioneer of casual MMOs and innovator of new business models. This is all thanks to our incredible player community, team and partners.” He also addressed the anniversary this week in a letter to players, saying: “We salute or players, new and old, and look forward to many more years of Piratey fun!”

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : New Careers Are Now Live

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Keith Cross

Mythic Entertainment has announced that the Knight of the Blazing Sun and the Black Guard careers are now live.


All servers will be brought offline today as we release the Knight of the Blazing Sun and the Black Guard to all players!


Starting at 9AM EST North American servers will brought down with Oceanic servers to follow at 10:30AM EST. We anticipate all servers to be back online by 12 Noon EST with the North American servers coming up shortly before Oceanic.


Read more here.

Star Trek Online : Meet the Team

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios has posted a profile of Star Trek Online Writer Christine Thompson as part of their Meet the Team series of internal interviews which introduce the STO team to gamers.

Q: What do you do on Star Trek Online?
A: I’m the writer for Star Trek Online, which means I handle the story, characters, plotlines, episodes, dialogue, item text – anything that needs words is my area. I’m also one of the researchers, who can dig through piles of material to find the reference images for the artists or help answer questions like “do we need beaks?” I work with the designers on the content – the things we’re making are very cool and very Trek.

Q: How long have you worked in gaming, and what did you do before Star Trek Online?
A: I was a writer and editor in the newspaper industry for about 13 years before coming to Cryptic Studios. I wrote everything from movie reviews to crime stories, and as an editor I did a lot behind the scenes for the production of the daily paper – laying out pages, coordinating coverage for events like the 2000 presidential election, fact-checking, editing and trimming stories and writing thousands of headlines.

I joined Cryptic in 2007 to write for the web sites and work with the community team. After we got the license for Star Trek, I volunteered to help with some of the writing of the storylines and then I joined the STO team full-time.

Read more here.

General : Aurora Blade System Preview

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has provided a first look at the systems of their upcoming browser MMO Aurora Blade, with a preview of the game's marriage system.

Today, the Aurora Blade team ( is giving a brief introduction about the marriage system in game.

Marriage is a holy word. No matter whether you are a newbie player who met your first love in game or you have married many times in different games, a wedding is always a special but troublesome event. Does that mean that no one will bother with getting married anymore? No way!

In Aurora Blade, a sweet marriage system is available to all players. They can buy a pair of wedding rings from the NPC “Love Sister” in the Aurora Seaport and then propose to their soulmates.

After the wedding, all Wedding Rings have a “Love Teleportation” function which lets players summon their soulmates at will, except for Glass Wedding Rings. According to the marriage duration, there are 28 ranks of marriage in Aurora Blade. Players can view their marriage information from character status. If you are heartbroken and would like to forget the past, you can go find the “Love Sister” and then, the problem will be solved.

Aurora Blade ( is the first browser-based 2D RPG brought to you by IGG ( and distinguishes itself as a simple yet exciting game with immersive storylines for players of all ages and skill levels.

Read more here.

General : Best New Game

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Jon Wood

Every year, the lit of current MMORPGs grows. Every year, we hope to find the launch of the "next big thing" in our genre or maybe just the next big thing" for our tastes. Sometimes we're happy with the results and sometimes we're not.

This year, we decided to include a "none of the above" nomination in this category. This decision was reached after reading numerous comments on the forums that seemed to indicate that people were unhappy with the products released in 2008.

The Best New Game category was created in order to determine our readers' favourite game that has yet to celebrate its one year anniversary. In order to qualify for this category, a game had to be released in 2008. As always, the nominations were chosen by the editorial staff.

  • Age of Conan
  • Atlantica Online
  • Pirates of the Burning Sea
  • Warhammer Online
  • None of the Above

Vote for the Best New Game of 2008

Bounty Bay Online : Colonies Gain Independence on Jan 15

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Bounty Bay Online have announced that the Free Colony add-on for the game, which allows guild owned colonies, will launch on January 15th.

Berlin, 2008-12-02: On January 15th of 2009, Frogster is going to launch the free colony add-on for Bounty Bay Online. With this comprehensive expansion, player guilds will be able to establish their own colonies with towns and harbours in the historical sailor world. Once created, guilds decide not only upon their appearance but also upon their in-game progress and their commercial policy. Mighty guilds hereby create their individual home territory and retreat as well as a profitable trading base. The colony add-on of roundabout 500 MB size will be installed automatically by the patcher tool when starting Bounty Bay Online. Existing characters and accounts can be used further on unrestrictedly. The game software for Bounty Bay Online is available for free on

With the colony add-on players can establish colonies in 33 coastal regions all over the virtual sailor world. After completing a series of colony quests, successful guild leaders will receive a harbour foundation stone, with which the guild can establish a colony on any free colony ground. Founding a new colony requires that the guild has reached guild level 5 at least and does not possess another colony already. Once the colony is established, the guild has 48 hours time to expand it to level 1. If the player group cannot manage to achieve that goal, the colony will destroy itself and all allocated resources will be lost. The guild can choose one of four development paths after the successful foundation of a colony. However, in order to change this path later on players will have to spend a big amount of in-game currency.

  • Industrial Harbor: Specializes in the research of weapons, armor and the trade of pets.
  • Business Harbor: Specializes in the trade of materials between the different Page 2 of 2 colonies.
  • Collectors Harbor: Specializes in importing and gathering of materials which can normally only be bought from NPC’s.
  • Military Harbor: Specializes in the research of new ships, new ship features, canons and ammunition.

The new colony harbour system offers players a new anchor point for their worldwide trade. Moreover, a colony opens up the possibility to create a controlled sphere of influence and to store large amounts of resources. Feeble warrior guilds can use outposts for the regeneration of their forces as well as to secure important stock. By increasing the overall level of a colony city, all guild members gain enhanced character attributes like better endurance of their ships, increased regeneration rates, raised manoeuvrability of their vessels and heightened defensive attributes of their land characters.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Christmas Patch from CCP

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced that they will be giving EVE players an early Christmas gift this year in the form of a performance enhancing patch.

EVE Online Screenshot

Every year the players ask "CCP, what are you giving us for Christmas?"

This year we are giving you the gift of the Christmas Performance Patch which contains a massive boost to both large fleet and small gang engagements as well as much improved game play for every player in New Eden. Focusing on improvements to the Need for Speed initative, this very special patch streamlines performance to significantly increase frames per second (fps) and makes improvements to the patching process to allow for a smoother patching performance in general.

Players who participated in the testing on Singularity have noticed much improved playability and performance. In one case, during a fleet fight test, 600 additional drones and fighters were added to the grid. In the vast majority of cases the players were not aware they had been added until they were told.

The deployment date for Quantum Rise 1.0.3 will be 10th December 2008 and Tranquility will be offline between 11.00 to 15.40 GMT.

Read more here.

Read the patch notes here.

Runescape : PvP Guide

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Jon Wood Runescape Correspondent Faisal Baig writes this new guide to PvP in Runescape.

After the Runescape update, the wilderness and basically player killing itself was eliminated and replaced with PVP worlds. PVP worlds, or Player-Vs-Player worlds, are entire designated worlds that are almost entirely Player-Vs-Player combat enabled. Think of it as almost an all-over wilderness. This thorough guide covers the many aspects of PVP worlds.

In PVP worlds, only select areas (such as banks, respawn points, Entrana, and some guilds) are disabled to combat, and are marked by a skull with a cross over it. These worlds are modeled after the original wilderness, and many of the same rules apply, such as level restraints to attack and "skulls" when you attack someone. To begin, simply choose a world that is marked as a PVP world when logging in. You will be warned of the obvious dangers. The first time you enter a PVP world, you will be transported to Lumbridge, and a manual will be given to you explaining much of the concept (you can get a new one from the Doomsayer in Lumbridge should you lose it). When you first log in, you will have a short immunity period before you can be attacked. In PVP worlds, you can lose your items, but at the same time, there are great rewards available!

Read the PvP Guide

Wonderland Online : Rebirth Quest Guide

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has posted a guide to Rebirth Quests in Wonderland Online, which allow characters of level 100 or higher to gain a new life.

In Wonderland Online ( version 3, players who have reached Level 100+ are able to be reborn. However, it’s not easy to finish the rebirth quest; a lot depends on excellent team work and cooperation among all group members. To assist with this extraordinary quest, we are giving a detailed strategy guide for players to use.

Location: Bangkok

Quest Name: Test from the Sunlight God

Process as below:

1st Round: One Boss Moai + Seven Moai (easy to finish)

2nd Round: Shading Puppet Lord (Water, Water Thunder Attack mastery, Level 10 Sleep and Water Shield) + Shading Puca*7 (In this round, you can kill the Boss first or the other monsters)

3rd Round: One Androsphinx + Anubis*2+ Scorpion King*3

FYI: In this round, Earth players can use Terrafication to stone the targets, after that kill the Scorpion King first, and then combat the Anubis, finally, kill the BOSS. Generally speaking, the Mage in the team should be good at MATK, the more the better.

4th Round: Kenter*1 + Terma Dragon*2 (Earth) + Water Dragon *1 (Sleep mastery)
FYI: Kill the Terma Dragon first, because it can use it’s Terrafication skill. If players have Shrink skill, you can use it to decrease their attack and defense. But more players should be alternates in case of a team member’s death.

5th Round (Valid within 2 hours): Dragon God (Wind, level 180) + Door Gods *3

FYI: Kill the Water Door God or Earth Door God first. The Water and Earth Door Gods can use Terrafication skill so they must be taken out first.

Final Round: Mahabrahman + Governors of Test Arena

FYI: 1. It never works when you activate Hot Potato to deplete Mahabrahman's spirit. His physical attacks will deal huge damage.

2. Leave these three holy beasts alone. Their death will generate high level mobs to attack you.

Rewards: Profession Transfer

3. This is the most difficult over all, so players should prepare many alternates. Additionally, the time for this round is 2 hours.

Final Words: It’s difficult to finish the rebirth quest. However, the most important thing is players enjoy the feeling of victory after finishing the quest.

Read more here.

EVE Online : PvP Guide Part II: Communication

Posted Dec 09, 2008 by Jon Wood EVE Online Correspondent Andrew Wallace writes this guide to Pvp in the sci-fi sandbox game. In this part of his guide, he focuses on the importance of communication.

I'm here to tell you that, amongst other things, it's good to talk. Good communication is essential in fleet warfare; the ability to relay orders quickly and clearly between the pilots in your fleet will allow you to react faster and simply make you a much better fighting force. If I wanted to sound really fancy, I'd throw out a Sun Tzu quote right about now, that's how incredibly important it is. The default method for talking with other players in most MMOs, including EVE, is via text; and yet this is always the most inefficient way of communicating during hectic battles, or even casual conversation. This gives rise to voice communication programs, both internal and third party, which overcome that hurdle and allows players to accomplish feats in unison that would simply be too difficult to do through text alone. Grab your mic and let's get started.

Read the PvP Guide Part II: Communication

Godswar : First Video Released

Posted Dec 08, 2008 by Keith Cross

TITLEIGG has released a new trailer whcih shows the characters and combat system for their Greek Mythology inspired MMORPG, GodsWar Online.

Watch the First Godswar Video.


Star Wars Galaxies : Hoth Hubbub

Posted Dec 08, 2008 by Jon Wood Star Wars Galaxies Correspondent Brian Turner writes this look at the recent addition of the ice planet Hoth to SOE's Star Wars Galaxies.

Chapter 11 entitled "The Battle of Echo Base" was released recently on the Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) live servers. This new heroic encounter thus far has been met with mixed reviews by the SWG community. Most problematic is the seemingly premature release of this latest chapter. Several parts of the game have been broken with no insight as to when they will be fixed, and lag hits the servers rampantly. Luckily, on their second try to fix delayed transport times; Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has succeeded with the 11.2 release. Unfortunately, other aspects of the game are still under strict scrutiny.

The heroic encounter itself suffers from extreme lag issues and frame rate drops even on high end computers. Realizing that SWG is over five years old now and has seen no major upgrades to the MMO's engine, many have speculated that the Hoth heroic encounter is just too much for this outdated engine. Whether or not we will see a fix to these problems is yet to be seen. It is a reasonable theory to say that marketing drove the release prematurely to align with SOE's free month for veterans.

Read Hoth Hubbub

General : Most Anticipated Game for 2009

Posted Dec 08, 2008 by Jon Wood

Today, we continue with our nominee announcements for the 2008 Reader's Choice Awards with our Most Anticipated Game category. Here, readers will vote for their most eagerly anticipated game with an expected 2009 release date.

  • Runes of Magic
  • Aion
  • Champions Online
  • Chronicles of Spellborn
  • Darkfall
  • Earthrise
  • Jumpgate Evolution
  • Stargate Worlds

Vote for the Most Anticipated Game for 2009

Age of Conan : Director's Letter: Merges Postponed

Posted Dec 08, 2008 by Keith Cross

Age of Conan Game Director Craig Morrison has written a letter to the community explaining the reasons for recent problems with last week's planned server merges, and informing players that the merges will continue in January.

With the announced start of the server merge process not quite having gone as planned I wanted to take the time today to speak to you all explain where we are at with the merge process and what the schedule looks like.

Basically, on Wednesday when we came to do the first live merges we encountered an issue with the structure of our data that we hadn’t found or experienced during testing. This issue caused there to be a risk, on some servers, under specific circumstances, of items having non-unique identifiers in our database. This in turn might have lead to some cases of player’s items not surviving the merge. It didn’t happen at all during our testing, and may have been (in the scale of all players and all items in the game) a possibly rare occurrence. However this was not an area where the team and I were willing to take any risks with whatsoever.

This is also exactly why we decided not to announce all the merge schedules in advance and to ensure we could do them in a live environment first before we went ahead with all the merges. While it is never ‘nice’ to have your contingency plans called into action, this approach has meant we caught a potential issue before it could possibly affect people’s actual game experience.

Read more here.

Star Trek Online : The Path to 2409: 2382

Posted Dec 08, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios has posted another look into the future history of Star Trek, running down the key events of 2382 which are dominated by political turmoil in the Romulan Empire.

The unstable situation of the Romulans continues to be a source of concern for the Alpha and Beta quadrants.

The loss of agricultural planets now claimed by the Imperial Romulan Empire threatens Romulus with severe food shortages. Romulus’ power plants and factories cannot increase output without the heavy metals and dilithium that once flowed from Remus.

To avert the looming civil crisis, Praetor Tal’aura reluctantly accepts food shipments from the Federation. But she refuses the Federation’s offer to facilitate negotiations between her and Empress Donatra, saying that it is an internal Romulan matter.

Tal’aura charges her proconsul, Fleet Commander Tomalak, with retaking the planets held by Donatra. Tomalak appoints Admiral Taris as his second in command and orders her to re-organize and mobilize Romulus’ remaining military forces.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Player Statue Dev Journal

Posted Dec 08, 2008 by Keith Cross

James Casey, the Content Design Lead for Warhammer Online has penned a new dev journal which takes a look at player statues.

The central theme of WAR is well, just that: war. It’s everywhere. Defending your realm and taking the fight to the enemy requires blood, sweat, and tears. Players in WAR are rewarded for their efforts through the accumulation of renown. Renown gives you access to training, equipment, and abilities that show off your dedication to the cause. But sometimes you need more; sometimes you need recognition. After all, what good is fortune without fame?

With that in mind, WAR tracks player accomplishments and we currently have a number of great leaderboards available on the Warhammer Herald to track your character against other characters in the Realm War. (Check out the Realm War and Leaderboards here.)

That’s fine and dandy, but how do players in game know who’s number one? You might know it, but it’s no fun if no-one else knows it. (If you’re like me, you like to tell them as often as possible, even if it’s being the best at dying…) But it’s not like you can tell everyone right? You can’t just put a statue up to yourself and have people praise you… can you? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could? We think so!

Read more here.

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