Final Fantasy XI has announced a number of new features that will be available to Art Urhgan on the next version update. We included the introduction to the feature here. You can get the whole story by following the link at the bottom:
The FINAL FANTASY XI Development Team has put several measures into effect since the release of the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion disc to lessen the congestion in Al Zahbi, including adjustments to Besieged and the introduction of auction house fees and bazaar taxes. The upcoming Mog Locker expansion and the introduction of new features in Aht Urhgan are designed to create a more convenient atmosphere for players. While the effects of these changes may not be immediately visible, we believe that these measures will eventually result in less overcrowding of the new towns.
Get it all, here.
Our friends at Codemasters have released some new information about Codemasters Campzone 2006, the world's largest outdoor LAN gaming event:
Following the announcement of Codemasters Online Gaming’s involvement in the forthcoming Campzone 2006 event, Codemasters Online Gaming has announced yet more detailed information on what you can expect to see at the worlds largest outdoor LAN gaming event that is Codemasters Campzone.
Codemasters Online Gaming, will be attending the first weekend of this awesome event from Friday 21st July until Sunday 23rd July with a host of exciting events planned for the 5000+ avid gamers who will in attendance.
First up will see introductory gameplay sessions of both recently launched titles RF Online and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™, in which guests will be given free trial keys for each game and then embark on an epic series of quests and events to win an exclusive series of prizes! Both games will be supported by a number of exciting interactive events across the huge LAN network allowing all visitors at Codemasters Campzone the opportunity to compete against one another at the show.
Lucky attendees can also look forward to a full ArchLord™ introduction with full gameplay presentations where guests will stand a chance to win exclusive early BETA keys for this eagerly anticipated game.
In yet another Codemasters Campzone exclusive, for the first time Codemasters Online Gaming will be recording live the first ever episode of the COGCast, Codemasters Online Gaming’s very own Podcast, which is due to air in the coming months.
Comments Ed Relf, Director of Marketing for Codemasters Online Gaming “We are extremely excited to release yet further details of our involvement with the fantastic Campzone event. The event will be an outstanding showcase for our forthcoming MMO games and we look forward to meeting our community at this very special event!”
Further details will also be announced shortly on the forthcoming plans to demonstrate The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ at Codemasters Campzone however Codemasters Online Gaming have promised something extra special for the event!
Our friends over at SOE's EverQuest II have released another of their entertaining Dev Chests:
Sometimes it's hard to find the buried treasures contained within the EverQuest II forums. The Dev Chest highlights useful, insightful, or entertaining posts from the developers that you may want to check out. Get your treasure maps and shovels ready--we're about to discover a Dev Chest!
For more on EQII, click here.
The World of WarCraft website has been updated with a new event, the Midsummer Fire Festival, a new guide update to reflect the changes in Patch 1.11, and the notes from that very patch which has now been released:
The World of Warcraft team is happy to announce the release of "Shadow of the Necropolis", the new 1.11 content patch!
Highlights of Shadow of the Necropolis - Patch 1.11:
You can read the entire patch notes here.
For more on WoW, click here.
Today, we are happy to bring you an exclusive Q&A from Chris Lena, an EverQuest Producer, as he and our own Carolyn Koh sit down to talk about the new EQ Progression Server:
MMORPG.com: There’s been a lot of interest in the Progression Server and I’m going to ask the $64 dollar question. Why? Why did you think that such a concept would work?
Chris Lena: There are a lot of reasons for this server idea, but for me it was a fairly simple solution to a problem EverQuest has had for a long time. People always say to me that they would love to try EverQuest or that they used to play and would like to get back into it but they feel overwhelmed because of all of the content that has been added. They feel like they could never catch up and just lose their gumption. The Progression Server is a way for all of those people to get on this new server at level 1 and progress through all the content together. The amount they have to learn when they start is bite-sized. But the Progression Server has become a lot of things to a lot of people and you can find dozens of different reasons on our forums as to why players are interested in this concept.
MMORPG.com: There’s even been talk of a population control and a 2nd server. Did you expect to generate this amount of interest from the fan base and do you have a “magic” number for the population before you open up another server?
Chris Lena: We do have a magic number and we have reached it. In other words, there will be a second server launching on June 28 called The Sleeper. The bigger question is what the population long-term is. Whenever we open any new server the initial interest is huge compared to the lasting population. I expect this to be even more dramatic with the Progression Server. We have to balance allowing everyone to try the server who wants to with technological limitations and long-term server viability.
You can read the article, here.
The following press release appeared yesterday on the official EA webpage. The press release states that EA has acquired MMORPG company Mythic Entertainment, the makers of the popular Dark Age of Camelot, and the upcoming Warhammer Online. The story appears to be verified as the same release appears on Mythic's corporate site as well.
Back on April 3rd of this year, MMORPG.com published a statement from Mythic CEO Marc Jacobs stating that the rumored deal between Mythic and EA was not go forward. "We have no deal with EA. We are currently not talking to EA," said Jacobs.
Jacobs did not categorically deny that a merger might come to pass, saying only that he had recieved a number of differing and very lucrative offers to purchase the company, but that none of them had been a right fit.
Back in April, Jacobs left us with the following statement: "I will not now, not ever do a deal that puts the people at Mythic who made this company great at risk," he was careful to point out at the time, however, that the deal with EA (which didn't happen at that time) did not fall into that cetegory.
With that being said, we are told that with the exception of a name change (EA Mythic) and a few job-title changes at the top, that things are set to remain as they are with the Mythic team making MMORPGs in their officies in Virginia. We are yet to see how the backing of a video game giant like EA is going to effect Mythic's products, both current and future. Jacobs seems positive about the change, stating in the press release that, "EA's commitment to the online market as well as its focus on creating games of unsurpassed quality, scope and scale gives us opportunities and resources we could only dream about in the past.""
MMORPG.com will continue to follow this story as it develops.
Studio Recognized Worldwide for Top Development Talent, Critically Acclaimed Franchises and Ground-Breaking Online Experiences
Electronic Arts today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Virginia-based Mythic Entertainment®. Upon completion of the acquisition, Mythic Entertainment will become EA Mythic, a wholly-owned studio dedicated to developing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). Mythic is recognized worldwide for revolutionizing the online gaming space with the award-winning Dark Age of Camelot® and is currently developing Warhammer® Online: Age of Reckoning™ under license agreement with Games Workshop.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close during EA's second quarter of fiscal 2007. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Mark Jacobs, the President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Mythic, will become Vice President, General Manager of EA Mythic. Rob Denton, the Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Mythic will assume the role of Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of EA Mythic. Mythic's 175-person development team will remain in Fairfax, Virginia.
"Mythic has always been a leading independent developer in the online space," says Mark Jacobs, CEO and co-founder of Mythic Entertainment. "EA's commitment to the online market as well as its focus on creating games of unsurpassed quality, scope and scale gives us opportunities and resources we could only dream about in the past."
"The addition of Mythic to the EA family reflects our deep commitment to the online gaming market worldwide. Mythic will bring one of the industry's most talented MMORPG teams to EA. Together, we will create games that will introduce MMO players to a whole new level of game play and excitement," said Paul Lee, President, EA Studios.
To visit Mythic's site, click here.
Hero Online has announced the dates and time of their second Closed Beta. They have also announced that there will be no character wipes until after the Second Closed Beta:
As many of our players may or may not know, today is the last day of Hero Online's First Closed Beta. We would like to thank our players for their participation in submitting bugs and suggestions, and hope our players enjoyed their sneak peek into Hero Online.
Many of our GMs have been flooded with questions regarding Beta Schedules and Character Wipes. So, the following is the schedule for the Second Closed of Hero Online as well as the schedule for character wipes:
Hero Online Second Closed Beta:
Date: June 21~26, 2006
**There will be no character wipe until AFTER the second Closed Beta!**
We hope to see all our players again during the Second Closed Beta!
For more on Hero Online, click here.
Conquer Online has released the notes for their latest patch, 4314, which sees the introduction of a brand new server:
We are pleased to announce that Patch 4314 will be released on June 19, 2006.
Highlights of Patch 4314
For more on Patch 4314, click here.
Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, have updated their website with a new point of interest, "Thorin's Throne":
Situated prominently high above the fine stonework floor of Thorin's Hall, adventurers will come upon the great, empty Throne of Thorin, named for Thorin II, known also as Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain, the last of the line of Dwarf-kings to sit within these halls in Ered Luin. More than 150 years ago (in TA 2845), Thorin ascended to the throne of Durin's Folk after the disappearance of his father, Thrain II. Thorin, however, was a King in Exile, his people having been forced from their rightful home by the great dragon Smaug. It is from these halls that Thorin and Company set out to reclaim their kingdom beneath Lonely Mountain (picking up a certain Burglar along the way). The throne, crafted by the greatest of the Dwarf-artisans, is a work of art unto itself, carved from the very rock that forms the foundation of the towering Blue Mountains overhead.
Thorin's Throne is one of the many discoveries players will find when adventuring within Ered Luin. Thorin's Hall, and the nearby Silverdeep Mines, are areas which serve as an important crossroads and meeting place for many of the races of Middle-earth. Dwarves and Elves frequent the area, along with the mysterious Rangers; many familiar faces from the pages of The Lord of the Rings have also been seen throughout the region on unknown business in these troubled times.
Thorin's Throne and the surrounding halls demonstrate many dramatic architectural and crafting styles, with a scope to suit the grandeur of Middle-earth's greatest craftsmen, the Dwarves. All around are impressive works of stone, intricately carved from beneath the roots of the towering mountains, then meticulously crafted down to the finest of detail. The Dwarf-mansion of Ered Luin is both a practical, common space for adventurers as well as an artistic marvel for exploration and discovery.
For more LOTRO, click here.
Ultima Online has announced that they will be one of the first MMORPG to make use of PunkBuster technology to stop cheating in their game. PunkBuster is best known for its association with a large number of AAA shooter titles:
Player cheating is a serious problem inside Ultima Online, as it is with all online role-playing games. It hurts the economy, gives players an unfair advantage in PvP, and puts honest players at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for resources, spawns and treasure. It’s no wonder the use of cheat programs is the number one complaint to customer service.
We hope to greatly reduce the use of cheat programs through the use of PunkBuster, the most recognized name in cheat protection. Used in virtually all triple-A shooters, Ultima Online will be one of the first MMOs to use PunkBuster technology.
We are in an internal test phase right now and almost ready to roll out a public beta test. We expect public testing to start in mid-July. So far, we are extremely pleased with the results and expect PunkBuster to work with Ultima Online transparently, unless of course you’re using a banned cheat program.
For more info, check out the FAQ HERE
If we do decide to use PunkBuster service-wide, you’ll need to agree to the PunkBuster Software License Agreement before playing, as well as new Ultima Online Terms of Service. You can read both documents HERE
For more on UO, click here.
Dark Age of Camelot has released some notes for Test Version 1.84i:
CLASS CHANGES AND FIXES
For more on DAoC, click here.
Pirates of the Burning Sea have one more shipmate these days. The official PotBS website greets LiMuBei as the newest soul on board as a volunteer member of the "Steering Committee".
* This news item was edited to reflect the fact that the person in question is classified as a volunteer as opposed to an employee. We appologize for any confusion this may have caused.
We are pleased to welcome LiMuBei as the newest member of the Pirates of the Burning Sea User Content Steering Committee!
As a Steering Committee member, LiMuBei joins current members Marion van Ghent, Michael O'Dwyer, Bracegirdle and Pirates of the Burning Sea Lead Developer, Augustus as the definitive resource for the greater User Content community!
Please join us in welcoming LiMuBei by posting to this thread on our forums!
In addition, you can read more about the purpose of the User Content Steering Committee by visiting this link.
For more on PotBS, click here.
Today, MMORPG.com presents you with a Developer Journal from the Simutronics MMORPG, Hero's Journey. The Dev in question this time is Gamemaster Erik "Sev" Roggeveen, and he discusses the job of a Gamemaster, Simutronics, Hero's Journey and more:
For myself, every day of the week I pop out of bed at daybreak, shriek away my dream demons in ablution to the pagan gods of fire and pain (wake up neighbors!), slap myself into coherence to get the blood shuffling along the tubes, and then sit down to a few hours of intensive designing before lunch. This is a good time of day for me to get my own writing and building done, because the on-site staff is available for any major issues I might have, and most of the other offsite people are still at their day jobs. Later in the evening I tend to keep an open door for any issues other offsite GameMasters may have, and my mat is fairly worn through.
What amuses me is how much amazement we can still evince from the masses, due mostly to our relatively small size as a company. Simutronics is nothing if not a braintrust from the preeminent days of gaming, with a constant flow of brilliant minds passing through our virtual halls, that often later go on to infiltrate every level of the industry in their own careers. So to someone familiar with the inside workings of Simutronics, it seems almost bizarre that people are surprised by what we come up with. We’re totally obsessed I tell yas!
Nobody wants highly-detailed and interesting content more than us, so we are even hungrier than the audience for something fantastic!
You can read the article, here.
Sony Online Entertainment's The Matrix Online has released a brand new version of their feature, The Other Side of the Looking Glass. This time around, it's a conversaion about exploits. We can't print it all here, but if you follow the link below, you can read it all!
An exploit is generally defined as something a player does that isn’t allowed by the rules of the game that gives that player some type of advantage or allows the player to do things in they game they shouldn’t be able to. If the exploit makes it possible for one player to have a big advantage over others, the exploit is considered particularly serious.
There is a system defined by the game rules that already makes higher-level characters more powerful than lower-level characters. And players who know the game better than others will have a different type of advantage over those with less experience. This is how the game is supposed to work.
Things that work outside that system are considered unfair to those who don’t work outside the rules. We do our best to ensure these holes don’t exist, but in hundreds of thousands of lines of code, they’re likely to appear. Therefore, we have to work with the Customer Service Representative team do deal with exploits when they come up.
Read it all, here.
The Chronicles of Spellborn has announced a new feature. They have now created a newsletter archive:
We have added a newsletter archive to our website containing all back issues. 3 days after the release of a new newsletter it will become available in the archive. You can check the archive using the 'Newsletters' option in the menu on the left. Enjoy!
For more on The Chronicles of Spellborn, click here.
The Saga of Ryzom has announced that they will be launching a brand new free trial offer. The free trial is permanent. What's the catch, you might ask? No catch, just an innovative approach to free trials. It seems that they are making one specific area available for the trial:
Nevrax, the developer and publisher of the massively-multiplayer science fantasy online role playing game (MMORPG) Ryzom, announced today the launching of a brand new Free Trial.
"From now on, anybody can test Ryzom for free, without any time limit and in a unique game region: the Ruins of Silan" declared Daniel Miller, Technical Director and Executive Producer of Ryzom Ring. Among the new features, bringing life to one’s first steps on planet Atys: an all new game region gathering the four races of Ryzom, providing many quests, exclusive rewards and rich explanations of the key elements that make the Ryzom universe truly unique. Moreover, a credit card is no longer required to test Ryzom.
"With this new Free Trial, the discovery of Ryzom becomes even more compelling and accessible", adds Daniel Miller. "We’re now eagerly preparing to unleash our first extension Ryzom Ring, which will, for the first time ever in a persistent online world, empower players to create their own adventures".
For more on The Saga of Ryzom, click here.
ArchLord has revealed the races for their new MMORPG. It looks like we're going to see the standard race of humans, supported this time by an Orc race, and a Moon Elf race.
See the Humans, Orcs and Moon Elves in the new Races video, now available at www.archlordgame.com
Codemasters Online Gaming today reveals details on the playable races featuring in ArchLord, the much-anticipated MMORPG where one player will rule the world.
ArchLord will feature three distinct races, each with their own unique skills and abilities: the majestic Humans, the towering Orcs and the seductive Moon Elves. Each race has various sub classes: the Human race features Mages, Knights and Rangers, while Orcs have Hunters, Berserkers and Sorcerers. The Moon Elf classes include Rangers and Elementalists.
ArchLord has recently witnessed an explosion of interest with over 800 fan sites registering online. When the Beta test sign-up began, over 20,000 player applications were made within the first within two hours. ArchLord’s game world, Chantra, is set to be a heavily populated one, so prepare to decide where your allegiance will lie.
The Moon Elves
For more on ArchLord, click here.
ArenaNet has announced that their popular MMORPG, Guild Wars, has reached the impressive number of 2,000,000 units sold worldwide! Congratulations to ArenaNet and the Guild Wars team!
June 19, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA) – ArenaNet®, developer of the world’s leading subscription-free online roleplaying games Guild Wars® and Guild Wars Factions™, and NCsoft® Corporation, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announce today the Guild Wars franchise has sold more than two million units worldwide to date. In further news, sales data from The NPD Group shows Guild Wars Factions as the number one selling PC game in North America for the month of May 2006.
“The highly successful release of Guild Wars Factions has solidified the Guild Wars franchise as a mainstay with gamers,” says Bob McKenzie, Senior VP of Merchandising, GameStop, Inc. “As a top seller for GameStop and EBGames, we watch with high interest how this property continues to make a stronghold for itself in the marketplace.”
When the first installment in this award-winning series, Guild Wars, launched in April 2005, it revolutionized online gaming and was an instant bestseller worldwide. Not to be outdone, ArenaNet’s hotly anticipated Guild Wars Factions, released April 28, 2006, was the number one game in both North America and Europe for the month of May.
“ArenaNet continues to take chances in both game design and business model, and it’s great to have the fans respond so enthusiastically right out of the gate with Guild Wars Factions,” says Patrick Wyatt, co-founder of ArenaNet. “Our fans have been overwhelmingly supportive of Guild Wars, and we will continue to make the Guild Wars franchise bigger and better with each release.”
Guild Wars and Guild Wars Factions are global online roleplaying games in which players immerse themselves in a rich fantasy world, build personalized characters, compete in head-to-head battles with players from around the world, and find adventure in missions and quests. In the game that has captivated millions of players, more than 7000 guilds worldwide are currently competing in the Guild Wars Factions tournament season, the finalists of which will be flown to Leipzig, Germany in August to compete for more than $100,000 in cash and prizes. For complete tournament rules, please visit www.guildwars.com.
For more on Guild Wars, click here.