Yesterday, a number of news sources reported that players of Funcom's Age of Conan would soon be able to import their faces onto characters in the game using Big Stage Entertainment's technology that "maps the contours of the face from a few digital photos", creating 'realistic, animated 3-D model[s] called an @ctor[s]". Unfortunately, it looks like there may have been some confusion surrounding the press release from Big Stage as we are told that face importation into Age of Conan is not on the way.
"While Big Stage may be planning to implement the technology in games soon, it is not currently slated for implementation into Age of Conan", said a Funcom spokesperson when asked for a comment on the stories.
The latest dev blog from CCP looks at the foundation and evolution of the company's US office in Atlanta, and the challenges of telling story in EVE.
From the beginning, Molock, Big Dumb Object and I have been looking for ways to use the mission system to tell interesting stories, and we're very excited to have a number of new tools we can now really begin to put into use. I'm very glad to have the shiny new option of having the player drop off an item in a deadspace complex (one of the many features added by Ludicrous Speed during the Apocryphic times).
It may not seem like much, but from a story perspective, it opens up a ridiculous number of options- like the ability to deliver a ransom to a dead drop, which we've made use of in mission eight of "The Blood-Stained Stars" arc. I've come up with some good workarounds in the past (I know I used at least one in my favorite mission arc, "Rancorous Researcher"), but it's great to have the chance to revisit a number of missions we'd put on hold because it didn't really make sense to have them as courier missions.
Writing stories for EVE missions is a challenge. (For one thing, I have to keep the text a lot shorter than this, which isn't always easy.) On our end of things, we try to come up with story threads that keep things interesting for you guys. The deadspace guys keep it gorgeous and try to balance the difficulty of each complex. Together, we built you a story that runs at least fifty missions while our toolset was being reworked.
Read more here.
MMORPG.com Correspondent Grant Henderson takes a first look at AfterWrold, the free market MMO.
Afterworld is set in the next 200 years in Siberia. Some horrible accident/incident occurred and most of the Earth's population is wiped out. You may not think that would matter much in Siberia, but what animals and humans who were "exposed" but not killed were mutated, leading to cravings for living, untainted flesh or some such. This is a little different from standard sci-fi fare.
While you're downloading the game, I suggest checking out the link on the main website to its wiki. There are tons of articles designed to help new players. Even in its Alpha stage, there's plenty stuff geared toward helping players get into the game. And for all two of you who've read my first article (hi Mom), you'll know my problem with websites and games that were terribly translated. This is not a problem for Afterworld. It's like they care.
MMORPG.com Warhammer Online Correspondent Michael Dennis writes this article giving us a little bit of insight into the Guild system in Mythic's RvR MMO, specifically Guild Ranks 1-5.
Now you have a guild or you're in a guild, the first thing you might notice after hitting [G] to open your guild screen is the large XP bar. This bar fills up as the various members of your guild take action in The Old World. As it fills, you gain rewards for your guild. In this article I'll take a look at the first five rewards you get and their application on the battlefield, or at home in your capital city.
Guild Rank 1
At rank one, your reward is a guild. Congratulations. The first thing you will notice is that you now have access to the guild screen. There are five tabs, each governing a different function of the guild. You will also notice that there is a cog attached to the upper right hand corner of the window. The first tab, entitled Profile, is an introductory window to the guild. The guild leader or a guild member with the right permissions can edit most of the information on this page; you can see or set the Message Of The Day at the top (the Message Of The Day is a short piece of text that pops up for all guild members when they log in), below that you will see the guild XP bar, then there's the About Us section, below that, in the big window, is the news feed which will log calendar events like, when new members join the guild or if someone leaves the guild as well as when a guild member reaches a new career or renown rank. Lastly there is the date the guild was created, a counter displaying the collective renown of all guild members, the email address of the guild and the URL for the guild forums. Neither of the latter two sections is mandatory, but they are there if your guild has access to those supplementary utilities.
Orion Al-Shamma-Jones, Localization Coordinator for Atlantica Online steps in and wirtes this week's Atlantica Online Dev Journal, talking about localizing the new Titan server in the game, which gives players more places to go, more content, and lots of competition.
I stand at the edge of a great stone port. The ship docked here was not always so grand. In times past, Columbus would stand on the ship, purchasing various weapons and armors for export to other parts of the world. In the ship unloading area, Fugger once stood near some imports, helping mercenaries find employment away from the heroes they serve. They have been displaced to a nearby courtyard by our latest, greatest feature, the Titan server.
This is my first look at the ship in-game. The server Titan is running on is brand new and has just been hooked up to our own test server, and in week's time Atlantica Online's North American player base will be getting their first taste of the Titan server, as well.
MMORPG.com and Abandon Interactive have teamed up to away 10 cool prizes for their new online action figure game - Freaky Creatures! From now until May 21, 2009 @ 9PM you can enter to win a Freaky Creatures starter pack with two action figures, a USB flash drive, stickers and a comic book!
As with all contests at MMORPG.com - the more days you login to our website the better your odds of winning! (see official rules for details)
NOTE: This contest is only available to members living in the US or Canada.
About Freaky Creatures
Freaky Creatures combines the best of online multiplayer gaming, collectible action figures, virtual worlds and social networking. The Freaky Creatures experience begins with a starter pack that includes two action figures and a one gigabyte reusable flash drive that unlocks the Freaky Creatures universe. Each starter pack also comes with 50 different parts, 20 powers and four objects that can be placed into the creature’s lair.
Players can then bring their creatures to life online and customize them with rare parts and powers to create one out of 3.2 billion possible combinations. Once players have created their custom creature, they can jump straight into battle or build a lair within which they can care for their creature or hang out and socialize with friends. Gamers are encouraged to visit the community to personalize their homepage, play mini-games, join tournaments, check leaderboards, trade items, read animated comics, enter contests and much more in the ever expanding Freaky Creatures universe.
If you would like to check out more about the cool new world of Freaky Creatures, click here to check out their official website!
MMORPG.com and IGG have partnered up to bring our members some gift keys for Aurora Blade that will give you free in game goodies! Get your key while supplies last!
Each newbie pack will give you:
Mythic has announced that the Beyond the Sands live event, which takes Warhammer Online players to the Land of the Dead, is now live.
The race to the Land of the Dead has begun, as the forces of Order and Destruction vie for the valuable resources to fuel their expeditions and build an airship. Join the effort by speaking to Garek Hammershield in Altdorf's War Quarters or Nebesh Painson in The Inevitable City's Fate's Edge.
The Beyond the Sands Live Event runs from April 20th through April 27th (at 9:00 AM EDT); don't miss your chance to earn a special new Land of the Dead-themed Title, Trophy, and exclusive item!
Read more here.
Blizzard has compiled all of their current info on the 3.1 patch, which hit World of Warcraft last week, bringing together patch notes, trailers, and more.
We know players are currently busy sinking their teeth into one of World of Warcraft's biggest content patches yet, Secrets of Ulduar. If you haven’t yet taken a look at all the new information we’ve been providing this week, here’s your chance.
Noted For Truth
Come check out the most up-to-date version of the 3.1 content patch notes for a refresher on the many changes and additions made to the game this Tuesday.
Haven’t seen the trailer video for Secrets of Ulduar? Don’t miss the drama unfold between the major players of the Kirin Tor, Horde, and Alliance.
Read more here.
Gamescampus has announced the launch of a new PvP server for Asda Story, and that the game's first PvP Tournament will
run from April 21st to April 22nd.
San Jose, Calif. (April 20, 2009) - San Jose-based online game
publisher, Gamescampus.com (www.gamescampus.com, run by OnNet USA),
announced today that is has launched a new PvP test server for its
popular MMORPG, Asda Story. In celebration of the PvP test server
launch, GamesCampus is also hosting the first-ever Asda Story PvP
tournaments starting April 21. .
Along with the opening of the server, the first PvP Tournament will
take place from April 21 to April 22. Players on the PvP server will
get to use free skill resets, upgrade items, and potion items from the
item mall as well as 10K Gold!
"Asda Story players have really been looking forward to the unveiling
of the player versus player gameplay and we are very excited to
finally let them test it out," said Jiwoo Park, Producer of Asda Story
at GamesCampus.com. "The feedback we receive from this test will help
us to implement PvP features that suit the needs of the Asda Story
Read more here.
IGG has announced the addition of an international PvP battle ground to Galaxy Online, where American players can face off against their Chinese counterparts.
"Galaxy Online" (http://go.igg.com/main.php) is a game that tests your wits and strategic skills as much as it entertains. With this mind, the Galaxy Online team will soon be opening a special International Battleground, where they will hold an unprecedented PVP battle. This battle will pit Chinese version players against their English version counterparts. English version players who participate in the event will be automatically added into a specified faction to confront the challenge from Chinese opponents.
The officials will offer all entrants the same initial resources and Science Points. Also the shipbuilding time will be shortened for the event, so players can create an army in the shortest time possible and get on to the fighting. The winning faction will gain hoards of rewards!
Read more here.
MMORPG.com Lord of the Rings Online Correspondent Andrei Hamagea writes this look at buying items in Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online and the best ways to get the most bang for your Middle-Earth buck.
In Part One, I began talking about the importance of timing, speculation and observation in deciding prices for the items you sell on the auction house in Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online. For the second part, I will try to put matters from the perspective of the buyer, leading him to take advantage of the often poorly marketed products he might come across.
Buying bases itself on an imperfect auction house system and by that I am referring to the repeatedly over and under pricing of items. Your job out there is to study these trends and come up with an "average" price for the item that you are trying to purchase. This is the reason why when you are a lonely seller you gain monopoly of the selling value. Hence our constant struggle is to successfully exploit these under sellers and take advantage of any situation as long as it brings profit.
Read How to Buy
SOE has announced that they are accepting nominations for the 2009 Player of the Year Awards, where the most dedicated and enthusiastic gamers could win a trip to the 2009 SOE Fan Faire in Las Vegas.
Get ready to celebrate with fellow gamers and the creators of your favorite Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) games at this year’s 2009 Fan Faire, June 25-29, at Bally’s Las Vegas! You’ll have the unique opportunity to engage in lots of social activities, including in-game tournaments, developer forums, live quests, and the chance to be honored as SOE’s Player of the Year!
From Friday, April 17, 2009, 12:01 a.m. PST, through Sunday, May 10, 2009, 11:59 p.m. PST, SOE will host it’s official Fan Faire Player of the Year 2009 contest in which you can go online and nominate the most dedicated SOE player (including yourself) for this coveted title! We want to know who YOU think is the most deserving and why!
Do you know someone who is the poster child for your favorite SOE title? So dedicated to the game, he or she walks around with bloodshot eyes, sleep deprived, wearing his or her favorite wrinkled SOE T-shirt? Does this player stand out as the first person to go beyond the call of duty to help fellow community gamers in and out of the game? If so, you may have the perfect candidate, and we want to know more!
Read more here.
The folks at City of Heroes have posted a letter to the community following the launch of Issue 14: Architect, saying that in just 24 hours since launch, players have created more than 3800 mission arcs, more mission arcs than the CoH team has made in the last 5 years.
On behalf of the entire Paragon Studios/City of Heroes team, I wanted to take a few minutes to write this letter to express our excitement and appreciation for all that you have done for us. We've had a lot of exciting things brewing over here, and with each step and unveil we have received an amazing amount of positive feedback and activity which is exciting to see.
Issue 14: Architect has been live for over a week now, and I must say we are simply astounded at the response we've gotten for it. Not only have the current players of CoH and CoV taken a shine to the new feature, but we are seeing a lot of familiar faces return to Paragon City and the Rogue Isles to check out this new innovation in MMO's...user created content.
Like every system we design here, the Mission Architect system has been a labor of love that we have poured over every little decision on. I feel like everything we have worked on has really been worth it when I see that within 60 minutes, we had 360 entire Mission Arcs (each containing up to 5 missions) available for other people to play. By midnight on day one, we had over 2600 arcs, and exactly 24 hours after launch we were already at 3800 arcs. We did some data mining of our own, and 3,800 surpasses the amount of content that we, the developers, have made for all of City of Heroes and City of Villains combined. In just one day our users did more than we could in almost five years.
Read more here.
MMORPG.com Correspondent Robert Duckworth provides us with this look at the Argent Tournament that sees players in Azeroth face off against each other in mounted duels.
Outlands has been set free. Arthas remains at large, plotting for his scourge armies to conquer the world. But most important: The Argent Tournament is coming to Azeroth!
In a new quest hub stylized much in the same manner as Sunwell Isle, the Argent Tournament is looking to provide that extra little thing to make you stay logged in each day after you've done everything else. The plot line behind the Argent Tournament is terrible. The Argent faction has decided that, after all of the bickering and infighting that has happened so far, in order for the combined forces of the Horde and the Alliance to work together and defeat Arthas, they need to kill each other in mounted combat. It has no place in lore or the over arching plot line of the expansion, but who cares about that anymore? It does look like it will be a fun distraction.
Read about the The Argent Tournament
In his latest blog entry, Phil Guzzardo, better known as Paragus expands on his nautical theme, this time taking a look at the Warships of Darkfall.
After my last article about rafts and sailing, many of you mentioned that you wanted me to check back after I had found out more about some of the game's larger warships. I spent the last week trying to find out who had the largest war ship I could find, and tried to see if they would let me take a look at it. My journey led me to The Mercs and Rainbow Ninja clans, who live in the center of Agon dubbed "Afghanistan" by the community. These clans recently crafted a Brigantine class warship, which is a quite a feat considering the costs involved, and the fact they don't have a city with the shipyard needed to build it.
Read about Warships.
The Cryptic Studios team has updated their Star Trek Online Blog with another entry from game writer Christine "Kestrel" Thompson who tells us how the story for the game came together.
To know where you are, first you have to know how you got here.
After Cryptic secured the Star Trek license, Jack Emmert asked me to write up some ideas of what happened in the Star Trek Universe before our game begins. Star Trek Online begins in the year 2409, which is about 30 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. So there's a big gap in the history that's not covered by any of the canon sources.
Starting with "what happens in a 30-year span in the Star Trek Universe" was just too big. There's so much history, and so many different races and factions … it was a lot to wrap my brain around all at once.
So I started breaking it down. I took one race or group of races at a time, and started working on their stories. What happened to the Klingons? How were the Cardassians recovering from the Dominion War? Where were Laas and the missing 98 changelings, and what did they want? What was the Federation doing when all of this was going on? What about the Gorn, or the Orions? And so on.
The developers over at NCosft have provided MMORPG.com with this new developer journal looking at the combat additions coming from the game's newest expansion, Gracia Final.
The Aerial Cleft takes PvP to the skies of the Gracia continent. Participation in this aerial PvP is exclusively for players who are on the Gracia continent and who register in the Aerial Cleft region. Once registered, two randomly assembled teams are thrust into an exciting twenty-five minute battle. During that time players will need to master their fear, flying prowess and new aerial skills to win. Not only is brute force required to be victorious, but you'll have to work together with your new found teammates in order to successfully shatter the crystal cores and score points for your team. At the end of the twenty-five minutes the team with the most points wins. To the victors go valuable Emery pieces which can be used in concert with Star Stone pieces that winners can harvest after the match to create attribute crystals. The meek will not survive in this arena and the strong will continue to fight for the Cleft's riches.
MMORPG.com has learned that Wolfpack Studios is closing the doors on their MMO Shadowbane as of May 1st, 2009.
Wolfpack Studios and publisher Ubisoft announced today that Shadowbane, the company's MMO that had been running now since March 25th 2003, will be shutting down its severs permanently on May 1st, 2009.
The official announcement on the game's website doesn't offer a specific reason for the closure, but instead chooses to reflect fondly on the game and its players.
When a game closes, we here at MMORPG.com like to mark its passing by taking a look at just how many days the game has been online. Recently, many of the cancellation numbers have borne low day counts, so it is a triumph of sorts that we report Shadowbane's legacy included an impressive 2253 days in Aerynth.