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Ragnarok Online : Game Gets Suspension In Vietnam

Posted Feb 12, 2007 by

VietNamNet Bridge is running an article about Ragnarok Online getting suspended due to VinaGame not meeting sales and exchange limitations. With more virtual currency stories coming out, this is an interesting read.

VietNamNet Bridge - On February 5, the HCM City Department of Post and Telecommunications instructed VinaGame to stop its Ragnarok services because it failed to apply limits to the sales and exchanges of game products.

According to the VinaGame representative, on December 14, 2006, VinaGame applied limits to the point awarding system of the game according to Circular 60.

On January 12, 2007, inspectors from the HCM City Department of Post and Telecommunications asked the Ragnarok provider to put more limits on the sales and exchanges of products in the game.

VinaGame's president Le Hong Minh said that the sales and exchanges of game products weren't a form of point awarding, so VinaGame fervently hoped that the department wouldn't put limits on them, since it was extremely complex to change game rules and any change would affect the whole structure of the game. This request, however, was turned down.

Also according to Mr. Minh, there are gaps in online game certification processes carried out by city departments and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

For instance, the HCM City Department of Post and Telecommunication applies limits to game product sales and exchanges, while Hanoi's department doesn't.

Online games providers are now waiting for the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications to standardise all game regulations.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : From Novel to MMO

Posted Feb 12, 2007 by Jon Wood

Managing Editor Jon Wood recently had the chance to sit down with Jeff Anderson, the President and CEO of Turbine Inc. In this, the first part of a two part interview, Jon and Jeff discuss the process of taking an epic work like JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and turning it into a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.

For anyone who might not be aware, Turbine currently holds the rights to two major Intellectual Property (IP) games, Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach which launched almost a year ago, and now the upcoming Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (LOTRO). Creating a game based on a well known IP isn't the easy, slam-dunk that you might expect. A great deal of time and care has to be put into the creation of the game, and, as Jeff told me, it creates multiple commitments and priorities for the developers. First, there is the priority of making a good, solid MMORPG. Next, you have to be careful to stay true to whatever the IP happens to be. In the case of my conversation with Jeff, the task that falls to him is more daunting than most. To re-create the world of Middle-Earth, a place that J.R.R. Tolkien brought to the individual imaginations of over 200 million readers making it, according to Jeff, "without a doubt, one of the most widely read books on the entire planet".

The purpose of Friday's interview was to get to the root of what exactly it takes to move something from the page onto the grand stage of an MMORPG.

Read the whole article here.

You can also view our ten new exclusive screenshots here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Race of Men Movie

Posted Feb 12, 2007 by Ben Krueger

Codemasters and Turbine have released yet another new movie showcasing the Race of Men this time around. Like the previous movies this is all in game footage.

Race of Men Movie
Some more in game footage showing off the Race of Men.

You can view all of the videos here

Rappelz : Win 1 of 15 iPod Shuffles!

Posted Feb 11, 2007 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com has partnered with Rappelz to bring you our 5th and final contest for February...a chance to win one of 15 iPod Shuffles! All you need to be is a registered MMORPG.com member! This contest will go on from now until March 10, 2007 @ 9PM EST - at which time we will randomly pick the 15 winners.

As with all of our contests, the more days you login to our website, the better your odds of winning! (see official rules for details)

When you are ready to enter JUST CLICK HERE!

General : World of Darkness MMO Rumor

Posted Feb 10, 2007 by

MOG Army is running an article about the new World of Darkess MMO to be created by EvE creator's CCP. We here at MMORPG.com have not yet confirmed this rumor through official channels. We will continue to update this story as we get more information.

The Icelandic game developer CCP will be developing a new massively multiplayer online computer game called World of Darkness. The game will be developed along with White Wolf, the board game company CCP merged with last year.

The setting of the game will be World of Darkness, a world inhabited by vampires and werewolves. White Wolf created said world and has written stories and books that take place there.

Halldór Fannar Guðjónsson, one of CCP's programmers, couldn't give any more details on the game, but said its development will begin in the next few months.

CCP owns an operates the Icelandic massively multiplayer online game EVE Online which currently has over 180.000 subscribers.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : First Look Preview

Posted Feb 10, 2007 by Jon Wood

News Editor Garrett Fulelr pens this first look preview of Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

Any time a game company deals with a major IP it can be a rocky road. Turbine has two major IPs in the fantasy genre, Dungeons & Dragons Online and, more importantly, Lord of the Rings Online. While many people feel that these worlds can transfer into the MMO medium very easily, they forget the expectations that fans have from such high profile worlds.

Lord of the Rings has a rich history in our culture. Written back in the 1950s, the books became very popular in the 1960s and 70s. Not only were they hailed as the beginning of our modern outlook on Fantasy, but they won over critics with their nature vs. industry themes and the triumph of ordinary people (or hobbits) thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Needless to say, in the last eight years, the movies gave the series an enormous boost back into the public eye. With the resurface of fantasy as a viable genre to tell stories in, Lord of the Rings was back on the map as the leader in fantasy storytelling. So how does this translate into an MMO world where you can become part of the story?

You can read the whole article here.

General : Game / On Podcast

Posted Feb 09, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com has released our newest episode of Game/On, our weekly podcast.

News Editor Garrett Fuller and Managing Editor Jon Wood return with a new commentary episode. Join them as they discuss the recent launch of Scions of Fate and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes as well as a few upcoming games.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Necron : New Payment Method Announced

Posted Feb 09, 2007 by

Neocron 2 announces a new payment method via PayPal. It seems like we'll have to wait until the service is activated to find out more.

By the middle of next week another payment method for credit card users will be available via PayPal. More details will follow when the service has been activated.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Dev Blog Updates On Employee Misconduct

Posted Feb 09, 2007 by

EvE Online's Community Manager Kieron continues to address the allegations of employee misconduct. The links to Dev Blogs may help clear some of the smoke for the EvE Community.

Recent allegations of developer misconduct have been the subject of much conversation in the EVE community and CCP. We have made a few recent statements to address these allegations, and listened to the community response.

In my last statement to the community, I promised that more would be forthcoming before the start of the weekend. Based on community response, we've addressed lingering questions and concerns in two different Dev Blogs.

Please read t20's Dev Blog, "On Recent Allegations" and Hellmar's Dev Blog, "The Commitment".

It is our hopes these Blogs will address the remainder of the EVE community's concerns over these allegations.

Read more here.

Vanguard : Latest News Update

Posted Feb 09, 2007 by

Just a few weeks after launch Vanguard gives its latest news update.

Item Loss Bugs

As of 5am PST Thursday morning, the item loss bugs revolving around bags should be resolved. While the fixes should prevent any new cases from arising, many instances where an item was already lost may be unresolved. We are still looking into a fix for this and will post updates as we have them.

Disciple Balance

Disciples were given some balance updates with the last patch to get them more in line with where they should be. Prior to yesterday's patch, disciples could sometimes score critical hits upwards of 60% of the time. Obviously, that was not intended and it has been brought to a more appropriate percentage. We apologize that this did not make it into the patch notes.

State of the Game

From Ryan Elam, Director of Technology:

"I'm going to answer some questions here, in typical FAQ style. It's going to be very informal, and you MAY find yourself laughing at some point... don't worry, this is normal..."

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Preview Of The Lich Class

Posted Feb 09, 2007 by

Age of Conan gives us a look at the Lich class. A mage who can join the ranks of the undead and release death upon the world. The dark power of....okay I'll stop. Check out the new class preview.

This week the dark and menacing Lich class falls under our spotlight as we continue our previews of the classes available in Age of Conan.

Of all the mages the Lich is perhaps the most feared by the ordinary travellers. Where the Necromancer animates the dead, the Lich actually embraces and joins the dead, becoming one with the foul and decaying undead they can channel great power from by their sacrifice of parts of their mortal soul and body.

A Lich is a mage who has moved beyond merely summoning the dead and instead chooses to make the darkest of pacts with the undead. They allow themselves to be one with those who have passed from the mortal realm and can merge their own flesh and blood with that of the dead.

By fusing with the bones of the dead, the Lich gains impressive physical strength and resilience. In this form the Lich prefers to wade into battle and club enemies to death, although retains access to their full array of spells.

When using Champion of Death for example, that the Lich gets access to from level 20, The Lich inhabits the form of a powerful undead warrior, increasing health, attack rating and their unholy magic rating.

Calling forth dark and menacing clouds laden with the foul black reek of pestilence and disease the Lich can easily inspire dread on the battlefield.

The power of the undead is not just called upon to help the Lich defeat their foes, it can also protect. Pact of Dead Flesh for example, that is available from level 25 onwards, protects the caster's team against damage, absorbing the first X points of damage from each hit. There is a maximum amount of damage that can be absorbed before it fails though.

At Higher levels the Lich gets access to powerful and ancient magics like 'Flesh of the Wight' and 'Acheronian Abomination', the latter allows the Lich to literally take the physical form of an ancient Acheronian warrior. Twisting in pain that might cripple those not used to dealing in such foul arts, the Lich's skin becomes re-enforced with the thick leathery, puss ridden hide of these powerful undead incarnations, his convulsing face masked by the ornately carved and distinctive helms that mark the source of these evil beings.

The Lich's muscles and bones are infused with the ancient strength and malice that is breed by centuries of undead anguish and can then be unleashed upon their foes.

These spells Increase the amount of damage absorbed each hit by spells such as Pact of Dead Flesh. The caster also gains additional unholy damage on melee attacks, and attackers have a chance of being afflicted with a damage over time curse when they attack the caster or getting extra healing from foes that attack them. These are examples of where casters spells at the higher levels also increase the effectiveness of their other spells.

The Lich is a dread inducing and fearsome foe whose dark pacts with the undead give them a wide variety of options in battle, whether it is defending their allies or striking out against their enemies.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Canthan New Year Event

Posted Feb 09, 2007 by

Guild Wars announces Canthan New Year Event. Read up on this event for powerful players planning parties and festivals.

This month, we will be observing a new holiday in the Guild Wars world: A festival celebrating the Canthan New Year is coming to Shing Jea Monastery, with a passel of pleasurable pastimes and porcine plentitude for the populace. You can take part in smaller festivities in Kamadan and Lion's Arch, as well. Head over to the Canthan New Year's Festival event page to learn more about this exciting new celebration. We'll see you on February 16th!

Read more here.

General : Community Spotlight

Posted Feb 09, 2007 by Jon Wood

Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at a forum thread that asks the question: "Does WoW teach children racism"?

This week on the forums, poster Vinzent posed an interesting question to the MMORPG.com audience: Does WoW teach children racism? "If you look at the gameplay mechanics, there is definitely racism there. Orcs, Trolls, Undead, and Tauren are evil if you're with the Alliance. Humans, Dwarves, Elves, and Gnomes are evil if you're with the Hoarde. Good and evil is being determined by race, not by values. You have to admit that's pretty racist."

"I don't think that they see each other as 'evil'" Novaseeker points out. "It's more of a political dispute between the two sides." As Tithrielle pointed out later in the thread, Blood Elves used to be Alliance and are now hoarde - and are related to the Alliance's Night Elves.

Read the whole column here.

Dreamlords: Resurrection : Dev Journal: Being a Lead Designer

Posted Feb 09, 2007 by Jon Wood

Jon Selin writes a great developer journal letting us in on the highs and lows of being the lead designer for an MMORPG. In this case, Dreamlords.

There are two major turning points in my life. When I was seven I played Super Mario Bros on the NES for the first time. I ran straight into a Goomba and promptly decided then and there that I was going to make computer games. That moment set me on a course.

Then when I was about ten I saw the movie Salute of the Jugger with Rutger Hauer, and it showed me what I needed to do.

It is not the fact that it may or may not be the best movie of all time, or that it is a bit too gory for ten year olds to watch, it is all about one short dialogue. I'll retell the scenario from memory. Rutger Hauer is teaching some girl, I think the character is called Kidda, to play in the violent futuristic sport they are making a living out of. She gets tripped during the training and Rutger Hauer leans over her, all leather and chains and teeth. Then he whispers menacingly:

You can read the whole journal here.

General : SOE Announces New Spy-Themed MMO

Posted Feb 08, 2007 by

GameIndustry.biz has a story up about the new MMO from Sony Online Entertainment. The game is set to be an espionage, spy-like thriller for players. Clearly this is a leap away from the fantasy and sci-fi MMOs we have seen lately. It will certainly be an interesting world for an MMO, I guess I should start practicing my Sean Connery accent...Fuller, Garrett Fuller.

Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley has told GamesIndustry.biz that the company is set to launch an as yet unannounced new IP later this year.

Smedley was speaking at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas, which kicked off yesterday with a keynote presentation from Sony Pictures Digital boss Yair Landau.

During his speech Landau showed a clip of the company's new spy-themed MMO, stating, "We think this will take espionage entertainment to a new level."

But according to Smedley, "It's not really just an espionage game. It's a combination of espionage... Think 24 meets Alias meets Counterstrike."

He went on to reveal that SOE has several new IPs in the works, adding, "We have one coming out late this calendar year, and it hasn't even been announced."

Landau's keynote began with a discussion of the idea that "people move ideas back and forth from work to play". He observed, "If you can conceive of it, we can make it real."

Landau pointed to the visceral realism in Saving Private Ryan, stating, "What was really great about it was it launched a whole broad base of gameplay." He cited the games that followed - Medal of Honor, Call of Duty and Company of Heroes.

"When you look at what Saving Private Ryan did theatrically, it's a fraction of what those games have done," said Landau, who believes this is an indication of where the industry is going. "It's driving a lot of what we're trying to do from a Sony Online Entertainment standpoint."

"We've historically been very much in the men-in-tights genre, a lot of guys running around in[sic] broadswords," Landau said. "But we're now looking at a broader genre... We've started to immerse ourselves into the world of espionage."

Landau thinks the key to where this genre goes from a gaming standpoint "is how make it more real for you. You don't get to just play Bond, but you get to play yourself in this environment."

SOE's Seattle office is charged with the task of "putting a multiplayer environment in an espionage world, with both cooperative, team-oriented objectives and PVP," according to Landau.

"We think it's okay if you have MMOs where you wear tuxedos and carry a silencer, not just tights and a mace."

Sony has yet to announce the official name of the title, but Landau joked, "It's code-named Vista because we pushed it back about a year."

Read more here.

Stargate Worlds : Announces New Community Manager

Posted Feb 08, 2007 by

Stargate Worlds names new Community Manager David Read. Read brings a wealth of Stargate knowledge to the game and should prove to be a great link for fans.

David Read, co-editor of the popular GateWorld.net website, has been named community manager for Stargate Worlds, an MMORPG in development by Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment.

Read takes over management of the Stargate Worlds forum where he will act as a community advocate and the main point of contact between the fans and the developers. The Stargate Worlds has an active community site with members from around the world.

Joining the team at Stargate Worlds is a real honor for me, said Read. This is one of the few places where you can work with so many talented people who are just as focused on Stargate as we are at GateWorld.

Read also developed the Stargate Omnipedia, a thorough online encyclopedia to the Stargate universe that fans from around the world use as an authoritative reference. Read has appeared on many Stump the Expert panels at the Stargate conventions produced by Creation Entertainment.

Read's background with one of the premier Stargate reference sites makes him an instantly credible community manager for Stargate Worlds, said Jay Adan, director of marketing, Stargate Worlds. Fans of the series expect us to have a high level of knowledge when it comes to the Stargate universe. Read is the right man to act as a liaison between the fans and the developers.

Read more here.

General : SOE Shows Study Results On Auction Site

Posted Feb 08, 2007 by

Sony Online Entertainment announces results of a twelve month study based on their Station Exchange auction site. Check out some of the numbers in this article; it is amazing to see the real money that is being traded by players.

Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a worldwide leader in online games, today announced the results of a 12-month study of Station Exchange™, SOE's online auction site which allows EverQuest II subscribers to securely buy and sell the rights to use virtual characters, items and coin for real money. Launched in June 2005, Station Exchange's first-to-market product marked the inaugural entry of an official, sanctioned virtual economy into a Massively Multiplayer Online game. The White Paper highlights data collected during a 12-month period covering June 2005 to June 2006.

The auction site, which has operated since June 2005 on specific EverQuest II servers, generated player transactions of $1.87 million during its first year, according to the White Paper published today. Players have paid as much as $2,000 for the right to use a single EverQuest II character and one seller earned $37,435 from 351 auctions, according to the report, entitled Station Exchange: Year One.

"The Station Exchange White Paper results demonstrate beyond a doubt that there is a significant demand for a secure, sanctioned online marketplace where players can enhance their gaming experience by spending real dollars," said John Smedley, President, Sony Online Entertainment. "We've found that Station Exchange is providing an excellent ancillary revenue stream for both SOE and our players. Some of our Station Exchange players are literally paying for their subscription to EQII, while others are making significant money."

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : A Look At The House of Elrond

Posted Feb 08, 2007 by

Lord of the Rings Online gives us a look at Lord Elrond's famous residence, Rivendell.

In the protected Valley of Rivendell, near the western slopes of the Misty Mountains stands the legendary House of Elrond, home to generations of noble Elves and a refuge for certain weary travelers in these dark days. Often called "The Last Homely House," this large and beautiful dwelling has been a tranquil yet well-protected and strongly-guarded refuge for as long as most memories can recall. Indeed, the Valley of Rivendell has been the home to Elrond and his people since well before the beginning of the Third Age, more than 3,000 years past. The house itself is expansive, with a seemingly endless array of rooms, libraries, gardens and other tranquil spaces. The dominant room in the home is the Hall of Fire, a large, pillared room so-named for the tremendous hearth in which a roaring fire is ever-burning. The Hall of Fire is a place of quiet reflection for most hours of the day, but is also a vibrant gathering place for lively song and storytelling in times of celebration. It is said that old Bilbo Baggins himself, now a resident of the House of Elrond in Rivendell, often frequents the Hall of Fire for a bit of writing, and, if truth be told, even more bits of napping.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Celestial Tournament Announced

Posted Feb 08, 2007 by

Guild Wars announces new Celestial Tournament.

The next competitive event for Guild Wars is the largest PvP tournament we've ever hosted. It's called the Celestial Tournament, and this GvG event offers an extensive list of both real-world and in-game prizes. In addition, the community at large will be invited to join in the final playoffs via the Xunlai Tournament House system. Registration begins immediately and runs through 11:00 a.m. PST (19:00 GMT) on February 14th. Read the rules page for more information about this exciting event!

Read more here.

General : Buying Virtual Currency

Posted Feb 08, 2007 by Jon Wood

Joe Iuliani writes to give his opinions on the ups and downs of the Secondary Market.

"Pssst, Pssst, yeah you, you over there, if you keep this quiet and don't tell anybody; I got some gold, for ya. Ok, gold not your thing, how bout some platinum? No, what about Infamy, Credits, Scrip? Ok how about some Zuly, everybody can use some more Zuly."

Virtual gaming currency is an essential component to any successful MMORPG character. Although the time dedicated to generating this currency at most times is just ridiculous, hence the scenario above, it feels a little bit like it's out of a cheap 40's gangster film.

Read the whole editorial here.

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