Over the weekend, Darkfall's Tasos Flambouras posted an update on the Darkfall forums addressing the game issues that they have dealt with thus far and talking about their current efforts to resolve availability issues, open new servers, and to prevent exploitive macroing.
Since Darkfall’s launch we have been dealing with issues round the clock, and we’ll continue to do so in order to improve your gameplay experience with every day that goes by. We read all the support requests and are aware of every issue that comes up and we want to thank you for your excellent feedback.
The queuing has been addressed and resolved. The lag and sync issues some players were experiencing have also been addressed and resolved. Random crashes have been all but eliminated. We will give all player accounts a total of 34 days free play included in their initial purchase to compensate for any inconveniences caused by downtime.
An issue we are facing now is with more Darkfall availability. The reason we had throttled the availability in the first place was to avoid queuing. At some point we hit the threshold where queuing began and we needed to increase capacity. Now that we know more, we’re working in advance so that queuing doesn’t become much of an issue again. We hope to be able to open up for more sales sometime this coming week; again it will have to be a limited amount of copies to allow a smooth integration of new players into the game. We will announce when this is ahead of time.
We are also working on opening up new servers to meet the demand. This is not as simple as some forum posts suggest. Darkfall has a huge and very complex infrastructure. There will be announcements when this is nearing completion.
Read more here.
Cryptic Studios has posted the seventh installment of their Kobayashi Maru series which asks players how they would solve difficult or no win situations.
You are in command of a starship on a mission to chart an unexplored area of space. Your comm officers detects a distress call from a near by world under attack by a Borg cube. You have no back up, and any message would take days to reach the nearest ship or starbase. Your ship has limited weapons, but you do have several new technologies at your disposal that are mostly for scientific purposes. You have to figure out how to use these technologies to make a weapon or some other unconventional means of stopping the Borg cube before they completely assimilate the world in distress.
Read more here.
Bigfoot Networks has announced the launch of their new Killer Xeno gaming network card, along with a number of voice chat industry partnerships.
SAN FRANCISCO, Game Developers Conference - March 23, 2009 - Bigfoot Networks, the networking technology company behind the Killer(tm) line of gaming network cards, today launched Killer Xeno, the company's next-generation voice chat-enabled network interface card for online gamers. The new product comes with more memory, an upgraded network processing unit (NPU), and integrated audio for hardware-accelerated voice-chat, all designed to bring gamers the ultimate online experience. The Killer Xeno platform provides Bigfoot Networks' partners and customers the fastest time to market with a flexible product design for customizing, licensing and distributing Killer Xeno.
Killer Xeno's voice-chat acceleration technology addresses the most requested gamer feature, and will enable the millions of online gamers worldwide who utilize these chat services to enjoy a "hiccup-free" voice experience while playing the latest generation of online games. Bigfoot, in providing voice chat, has partnered with companies supporting leading products such as TeamSpeak and Vivox as well as utilizing the popular open source application Mumble.
Read more here.
IGG has announced details of the next expansion for Angels Online. The new expansion, titled House Party, will add a new housing system as well as increasing the level limit to 130, adding new maps, and more.
Angels Online team (http://ao.igg.com) are very happy to announce the coming release of their new expansion called “House Party”. This new expansion continues the cute, fun style that the game is known for, while adding a lot of new content for players to explore.
16 new jungle and desert scenes will be added into the new expansion. The AO developers have always done their best to make sure the game graphics are sharp, clear, and fun. With over a year’s work poured into the new version, the results are breathtaking.
The House system is one of the most important features of the “House Party” expansion. With this new system, the developers are adding a new, creative dimension to the game that players can use to customize to their own specific taste and style.
Some of the brand new elements in the new version:
- The upper level limit will be increased to 130.
- 16 new jungle and desert scenes
- An all new PVP system called Angel Arena
- New stylish jungle and desert suits
- The all new “House” system, which includes manufacturing a house, arranging furniture and design the interior style for the house.
- New instances
- New monsters and BOSSes
- A new series of jungle/desert robots and mounts
Read more here.
Gametribe has announced that Dream of Mirror Online will be getting a new content update on March 25th.
Gametribe.com, the premier destination for Free-to-Play games is offering brand new contents to the DOMO fans on March 25th.
Dungeon Boss “Tricky Tortoise” is waiting for fierce warriors in Neptune’s Temple. Entering the temple to kill the boss will unlock level 65!
The dungeon is crowded with monsters dropping precious chests that contain fabulous items. Additional rewards are also waiting for the bravest: upgrade books, weapons, armors and diamonds!
Players will also be able to buy brand new items and goodie bags in the in-game item shop:
- Little Fairy goodie bag for girls and Peter Pan goodie bag for boys: players will have the chance to get theme costumes, headgears or wings. These goodie bags will be available until April 8th
- Small HP Necklace: a special aid item which has the effect of auto-recover HP when HP is below 50%
- Small MP Pendant: this item auto-recovers the MP of a character when MP is below 50%
The necklace and pendant are very useful when fighting without the help of healers or when lacking pills in the backpack. But players will have to be quick to get one of them, because these items will be available in the in-game shop only until April 8th!
Read more here.
The folks at TQ Digital have published an overview of Voyage Quests and the Nobility Ranking system in their upcoming MMORPG, The Warlords.
The Voyage Quests
The Voyage is an innovative quest system in the Warlords. As the riots and unrest are widely spread in the territory of the kingdom, the Qing court wants experienced warriors to crush the troubles for them. Therefore, no matter if you are an imperial soldier or a bandit, the supreme authority will reward you with bountiful awards once you complete these urgent missions.
The requirements for the Voyage Campaign are strict, and vary from one campaign to another. After receiving a Voyage Campaign, players need to depart for the destination within a certain time, by ship. Every campaign requires players' team work. When the campaign starts, the player with the highest Kungfu in the map will be assigned as the campaign Commander. As the team leader, the Commander has to plot the tactics and arrange the force deployment. In return, when the campaign is successfully completed, the Commander will receive extra rewards.
Read more here.
MMORPG.com Lord of the Rings Online Correspondent Andrei Harnagea writes this look at the Auction House in Turbine's game and how best tot ake advantage of it.
Part 1 How to sell-
If I were to tell you right off the bat the three most important steps to take in order to maximize your gain on the auction house, it would undoubtedly be; timing, timing and timing. In-game economics works very much the same as in real life, and that is through a supply and demand system. Scarcity leads to high prices and abundance has you trying for days and days on end until you give up and lower the price to a point of no profit. Well, the question is, could such a system be somewhat predicted? Is a simulated economy with no material gain easier to control than the stock market? In some ways yes, and I will be sharing some of my discoveries so far concerning the best methods of selling and buying on the auction house. It is important to also take note of different server populations as well as the majority of players playing from a specific time zone.
MMORPG.com Lineage II Correspondent Žygimantas Mockus writes this overview of the tanking role in Lineage II.
Unlike Dark Avenger who is a mix of a summoner and a tank, Paladin is a hybrid of a tank and a healer. He can be considered primary tank in parties and he has quite good healing abilities. Under rare circumstances, he can heal even better than a bishop. However, after 4 or 5 heals you will notice that you are out of mana so healing features should be used only when it's a must. One of the unique paladin skills is called sacrifice. This one can sacrifice a paladin's health for treatment of the other party members. Of course, the paladin's friends will get a smaller amount of HP than he sacrificed, but anyway, in real situations it's a true life-saver. The other very very useful skill is called shield stun (Yes, Dark Avenger has it too). Despite the fact, that this one does not do any damage on its own. The chance of stunning the opponent is the biggest, which gives a huge advantage over other opponents in both PvP and PvE. As far as self-buffs are concerned, let's look at skill called majesty. This one provides us P.def (always a welcome boost for a tank), but reduces Evasion approximately by 8. Of course, looking at their DEX rating we should understand that evasion is not a paladin's strongest point so it shouldn't bother players who play the class. Another noticeable self-buff is called Iron Will, which increases the Paladin's M.def and is very useful against nukers or nuking monsters.
Some time ago, our own Carolyn Koh attended Bigfoot Networks' Lag Boot Camp. Today, she files her report.
Bigfoot's mission was to educate us about lag. A term all MMO gamers are familiar with. That's the term we use to describe the frustrating anomalies in the online games we play that are usually blamed on internet latency. The rubber-bending of mobs, the game freezing, the stuttering of our screens. The time that elapses between when we type in some text and when it shows on our screen. The slight pause in our game when someone speaks over ventrilo or one of the other voice chat programs we use and the dreaded link-death, when we actually lose connection with the server long enough to be kicked out of the game. All those symptoms are what we simply call lag.
MMORPG.com has been given gift keys to give to our community for GodsWar Online - one of the latest titles from IGG. To get your free gift key all you need to have is your MMORPG.com account and be logged in! Supplies are limited so get your key while we have them.
Each key will give:
Bioware has published information on the Bounty Hunter, the first announced playable character class in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
We are proud to announce the first playable character class revealed in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, the Bounty Hunter.
An infamous mercenary of the Star Wars™ universe, the Bounty Hunter’s journey is ruthless yet rewarding. Deadly missions and assassinations are just part of the dangerous tasks involved in choosing the Bounty Hunter career path. With missiles and flamethrowers at arm’s reach, the Bounty Hunter uses the latest in advanced armor and weapon technology to carry out these assignments - gaining not only money, but notoriety as a reward.
Read more here.
MMORPG.com Warhammer Online Correspondent Michael Dennis writes this basic look at Guilds in Mythic's RvR game.
Guilds are a very standard feature of MMORPGs. They provide players with a way to organise themselves, choose which of the people that they meet online they want to play regularly with and, usually, the level at which they want to play the game; be it hardcore or casual. Mythic took a slightly different approach to guilds with Warhammer Online. Originally called regiments the idea was that your guild would act like a part of your realm’s army. Through Mythic’s alliance system, guilds could ally with each other to form an army. The whole system screams of militant organisation, which is very appropriate for a game based on warfare.
During WAR development, Mythic coined the term Living Guilds to help describe the system they were going to implement into the game. A main focus of WAR has been the marriage of casual play and hardcore play. Many of their features were designed to get the solo player into situations where they had to interact with the other players, without even realising it; this kind of thinking lead to the Open Group system and to the innovative Public Quest system. With their guild system, Mythic needed to overcome the stigma attached to joining a guild.
Take A Look at Guilds
In a developer journal from Brandes Stoddard, a systems designer for the upcoming post-apocalyptic MMO, Fallen Earth, fans learn how development team members must continually improve game systems in order to make the player experience more enjoyable. In the first part of the series, Brandes explains the necessity of balancing weapons in an MMO
The process of balancing all types of weapons, but most especially the firearms, of Fallen Earth has been the preeminent learning experience of my time here. Despite our attempted use of Excel spreadsheets, we can’t comprehend whether or not our weapons balancing strategies will pay off for players until the data is tested firsthand.
We started with a spreadsheet full of formulas intended to guarantee that our weapons would be balanced against one another. The person working on the weapon was able to modify its damage per attack up or down until the numbers over in another column came out evenly. There were a few other levers to manipulate, such as weight and range, but we generally recognized that small variations in these statistics were not going to make a weapon more appealing. That's what weapon balancing comes down to, really: creating something that a player is going to want to use. It shouldn't be the best tool for all tasks, but every weapon needs a niche. (Admittedly, one or two weapons claim the niche of "most embarrassing weapon with which to be killed.")
After a period of relative quiet from the folks at Stargate Worlds, Cheyenne Mountain has released several new screenshots. Today we present those screenshots and several others that haven't yet made their way into our screenshot gallery.
See more Stargate Worlds Screenshots.
Recently, MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood has been assessing the Astro A40 Audio System as a replacement for his old gaming headsets. He liked what he saw and today presents his review.
Let me tell you a little story about the last set of gaming headsets I’m ever likely to own:
Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, headsets break all the time. Last year alone, I went through three or four pairs of low end gadgets. Still though, I’m pretty sure I’ve recently found a set of headphones that I not only care enough about to make sure they don’t break, but that I don’t feel the need to go out and replace… ever, if given the choice.
Read the Astro A40 Audio System Review
The folks at Pirates of the Burning Sea have posted a new devlog which looks at how the tech guys deal with crashes and error reports.
If you’ve been unlucky in M13, you will have noticed a new feature in Pirates: the Send Crash Dump dialog. In the regrettable case that the Pirates client should crash to the desktop, we automatically create a crash dump, and the next time you log in, we ask you to send that crash dump directly to us. This devlog will attempt to explain the motivation and mechanism behind this feature. Note that I will be venturing into some technical depth, but I’ll do my best to keep things interesting. Let’s start with some background info.
Windows Error Reporting
In Windows, when a program crashes, a dialog pops up asking you to send the error report to Microsoft. Microsoft then collects these reports, processes them, and displays them to the company that released the product – in this case, us. Registering to view the reports is pretty simple; whenever you release a new version of a program to the public, you upload some identifying information to the error reporting site. You can then examine all the errors reported by users, sorted into buckets representing similar errors, and you can retrieve any crash dumps from that version of your program in order to debug the problem for your next release. The service also includes statistics and graphs so you can track error reports over time, by OS or program version, etc. You can even register a message (such as “Hey, we’ve fixed this crash in version 2.8, you should upgrade!”) for a specified error code and future reports of the same error will display the message to the user. This is actually a really cool service, and it’s nearly free, requiring only a Verisign certificate to verify your status as a real company.
Read more here.
Blizzard has announced that players can now create a new Battle.net account or merge their WoW account with their Battle.net account to simplify the login process for Blizzard's various game's and services.
We're pleased to introduce the Battle.net account -- a brand-new way for players to manage their Blizzard Entertainment games, make online Blizzard store purchases, log in to World of Warcraft, and more using just one set of login information. World of Warcraft players now have the option to create a Battle.net account, merge a World of Warcraft account (or multiple accounts) with it, and begin logging in to the game, the Armory, and the forums using their new Battle.net account login information.
Read more here.
In a recent update, Voyage Century received several new professions, and today the folks at IGG have posted a guide to help players choose the right profession for their tastes.
With the release of the 5 new professions for VCO, which new profession is suitable for which players has become a hot-button topic. The Royal Military Officer, the Imperial Guardian, the Caribbean Pirate, the Treasure Hunter, and the Armed Businessman all have their own unique features. The new profession quests are also very important for these characters’ development. Well, today we will be trying to clarify how best to choose your new profession.
Newbie’s Profession Quests
After selecting a profession, the next thing players must do is start the newbie profession quests. There are 27 newbie profession quests in all. After finishing them, players will obtain a certain number of money, gear, and Exp, which are very important for future profession development.
Read more here.