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Final Fantasy XI : Ultimate Collection Now on Steam!

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The Final Fantasy XI Ultimate Collection is now available on Steam, and is priced at $19.99. The new compilation pack contains the original game and standard 30 days of free game time, all four expansions released for FFXI to date (Rise of the Zilart, Chains of Promathia, Treasures of Aht Urhgan, Wings of the Goddess) as well as all three add-on scenarios released for the game this year (A Crystalline Prophecy, A Moogle Kupo d'Etat, A Shantotto Ascension).

Purchase the Final Fantasy XI Ultimate Collection here.

DC Universe Online : Facebook Animation Contest

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Sony Online Entertainment has partnered with Mass Animation for a new DC Universe Online Animation contest. The contest is scheduled to begin on December 7th, 2009.

The contest will allow for aspiring animators to use the Mass Animation Facebook application to download digital models which can then be animated using a special version of Autodesk's Maya 3D software provided by Mass Animation. Applicants will then upload their animations back through the Mass Animation application for others to view and vote on.

Cash and other as of yet undetermined prizes will be given out to the best entrees each week. Visit the DC Universe Online Facebook page here for more details.

Fallen Earth : Does It Need Fast Travel?

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Jon Wood Fallen Earth Correspondent Paul Cox explores the possibility of adding a fast travel system to Fallen Earth and even offers some of his own suggestions on how this might be accomplished.

Recently, I have seen a major conern rear its head in Icarus Studios' Fallen Earth. Between people wanting to group with their friends from different sectors and other players trying to get to one of the community run in-game events from sectors that do not host these events, more and more people have been asking for some kind of fast travel system.

Now I am against the idea of fast travel myself, but in these situations it does make sense. I have found myself in both situations at some point, I even created another character and leveled it up just to avoid bringing my main character back to sector one just to travel with my friends.

Read Does It Need Fast Travel?

Grand Fantasia : Added to Game List!

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Our game list has been updated with an entry for Aeria Games' upcoming 3D fantasy MMORPG, Grand Fantasia.

Read below for our full overview:

Grand Fantasia is a 3D fantasy MMORPG published by Aeria Games. The game is set in the magical-fantasy world of Saphael, which has been ripped by war and left to rebuild. You play as a young hero descended from the old "Sprite Messengers" who once sought to bring balance and peace via connection to the old ways. You are tasked with fighting a new evil as well as maintaining that connection via your own customizable sprites, which act as the game's pets. You can find many new pets during your adventure, each with its own class, level, and attributes. These sprites accompany you and can even gather materials and craft weapons and armor for you.

Grand Fantasia includes a branched class system. All players begin as Novices, and choose their sprite's class as well. There are a variety of player mounts of different levels and types for transport. The game has many social features, including a party system, customizable guilds, and PvP as duels or in 15 vs. 15 team battles. Further encouraging group play are dungeons, regional bosses to fight, and even quests which are only accessible to a party or a guild group (as well as the usual batches of solo quests).

The game is free to play, with optional cash shop items available.

For more information on Grand Fantasia, check out the game's official website here.

General : Fallout MMO Screenshots Surface

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Michael Bitton

A trio of screenshots allegedly from Interplay's Fallout Online project aka "Project V13" have surfaced at the Vault Wiki.

The new screenshots were discovered and uploaded by official Interplay forum user "Ausir" who claims they were released by Interplay as part of official court documents to demonstrate that the project is currently in production.

You can view the shots here.

Stargate Worlds : Five New Screenshots

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Five new screenshots of Stargate Worlds have surfaced on the official Stargate Worlds website. The screenshots depict a number of new armor and weapons for the Goa’uld, Jaffa, Soldier, and Scientist.

The Stargate team has also released a statement thanking their fans for their continued support:

We know you expect nothing less than the AAA content in Stargate Worlds our development team is working hard to give you along with some additional exciting news we will be revealing very soon! We want to thank everyone for their continued support and passion for Stargate Worlds and we can’t wait to show you more of what we’ve been cooking up over here.

Each of these armor sets will have unique traits that make them ideal for certain situations. As players become familiar with each world and the various environments they will encounter, they will discover which sets of armor best suit their play style.

You can view all the new shots in our Stargate Worlds gallery.

[Thanks Tylantia!]

Star Trek Online : Box Art Revealed!

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The box art for Star Trek Online has been revealed to the public today, and we've got it here to share with you! Click the image below for a high-res version.

Look for Star Trek Online on store shelves this February. For more information on Star Trek Online visit the game's official website here.

Champions Online : Five Most Needed Additions to Champions

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Jon Wood's C.A. Thomas writes this list of overall improvements that need to be made to Cryptic's newest superhero MMORPG, Champions Online.

Currently, there is a very large and vocal group of people who view Champions Online as a disappointment for dozens of documented reasons. There are some major issues with the game itself on a functional level relating to the game's progression, elements and mechanics. It is widely agreed (and, to be fair, has been openly admitted by Cryptic Studios on more than one occasion) that there is not only a lack of content, but a lack of diversity in CO's content.

What does this mean for the future of Champions Online? Can it bounce back from the widely demonstrated distaste seen not only in the general population of MMORPG players, but within its own community, where the unrest seems to be strongest? Or is the game doomed to fail, having suffered major issues and controversy from the very moment they switched on the live server with the now-infamous Day One Patch?

Read Five Most Needed Additions to Champions Online.

Hello Kitty : Progress Report Interview

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Jon Wood's Garrett Fuller asks a few questions of Game Designer Abby Reyes and VP of Business Development and Publishing Robert Ferrari about Hello Kitty Online and where the game stands today.

HKO is now in Commercial Launch in the Philippines, the most recent in a series of launches in countries around the world. Tell us about that.

Robert Ferrari:

Sanrio Digital and Level Up! Philippines just launched HKO commercially in the Philippines. It's a country with a large active base of online gamers and high brand awareness of Hello Kitty, so this is an exciting milestone for the global rollout of Hello Kitty Online.

Read the Progress Report Interview.

Freaky Creatures : Freaky Adventures Screenshots

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Jon Wood

The team from Freaky Creatures is adding a new content update to their game called Freaky Adventures which brings new PvE action to the collectible PvP MMORPG.

Check out all five new screenshots, here.

General : Free Zone: Are Betas Useful?

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Jon Wood Free Zone columnist Richard Aihoshi tackles the idea of beta testing and asks whether or not the development phase is as useful as has always been implied.

Richard Aihoshi

Does it strike you as kind of curious that by the time most MMOGs reach the closed beta stage where members of the public can apply to see and try them, there doesn't seem to be much true testing left to do? In this respect, I'm referring to elements, features, balance, etc. that are still subject to decisions or meaningful changes depending on the feedback the participants provide as well as related metrics.

Given the fact a substantial number of free to play offerings are imports that have already been operating for some time in other regions, I understand their betas aren't clean slates. The extent to which these games can be modified is always going to be limited. Accordingly, I don't expect that anything and everything can be changed. However, I can't help but wonder if there's any real point to "testing" when everything important is already decided or locked down.

Read Are Betas Useful?

Heroes of Gaia : Win An iPod Touch 8GB!

Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG and Ray Flame Entertainment Inc. are teaming up to present an awesome iPod giveaway opportunity. Heroes of Gaia ( will be transitioning to open beta, allowing gamers to sign up without a beta key. Between Nov. 16 and Dec. 16, we will be giving away three iPod Touches!

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


Warrior Epic : Battlegrounds Beta Underway

Posted Nov 13, 2009 by Michael Bitton

True Games Interactive have announced that the beta test for Warrior Epic's first expansion "Battlegrounds" is now underway.

The new expansion will overhaul the game's PvP systems, add new zones, items, and even a hub city for players to socialize in. The beta is scheduled to run through to the expansion's launch which is scheduled for sometime this December.

For more information on Warrior Epic visit the game's official website here.

Flyff : The Lost Continent Update Now Live!

Posted Nov 13, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The latest update to Flyff dubbed "The Lost Continent" is now available on live servers. Naturally, the main feature of the update is the addition of a new continent called "Shaduwar" for players to explore, full of new monsters for players to slay, new weapons to acquire, and dungeons to conquer.

Finally, and likely the most stand-out feature of The Lost Continent update is the addition of wings. One would naturally expect wings to be part of Flyff given its focus on flight, yet the game has been wingless since its launch almost four years ago.

For more details on the update visit the official Flyff website here.

Star Trek Online : Important Aspects of the Franchise

Posted Nov 13, 2009 by Jon Wood Managing Editor Jon Wood takes a look at the Star Trek franchise and identifies a number of elements that he would like to see replicated in Cryptic's Star Trek Online to help recapture the tone and feel of the IP.

Developing an MMORPG based on a popular, pre-existing intellectual property is a tricky business. There are many expectations that need to be met, and every fan of whatever franchise it is that you're basing your game on has a different opinion of what elements from the original need to be there.

Star Trek Online is certainly no exception to this rule. Star Trek fans, after all, have a reputation for being not only, well, fanatical about their franchise, but also extraordinarily picky about how their universe is presented. With that in mind, it's safe to say that there is absolutely no way that every single fan of Star Trek, let alone fans of the MMORPG genre as a whole, will be satisfied with whatever final product Cryptic Studios presents to its audience.

Read Important Aspects of the Franchise.

Champions Online : Champedia Launched!

Posted Nov 13, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Cryptic Studios has launched a "central database for all Champions Online in-game data" called Champedia, which will allow players to search for characters, super groups, powers, and missions.

The database does not appear to currently have any sort of wiki functionality so it cannot be edited or updated by the community at this moment, but it should still serve as an excellent resource for players. Give it a spin here!

Star Trek Online : Bridge Access Granted!

Posted Nov 13, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Fans everyone cried out in disappointment when Cryptic Studios crushed their dreams of hanging out on their ship's bridge with other crew members when it was revealed that the feature wasn't going to make it into the game (at least not for launch).

Today, however, things have changed! Cryptic Studios has revealed that bridge gameplay will indeed make it into the game for launch, and will serve as a social hub where players can socialize with others. As an added bonus, the bridge will be customizable, to an extent, with players being able to select from around 20 different bridges for their ship.

Freaky Creatures : Exclusive New Trailer!

Posted Nov 13, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Abandon Interactive has sent us an exclusive new trailer for their creature-based MMORPG, Freaky Creatures. This latest trailer challenges players to face new dangers and join in on the adventure!

Freaky Creatures is an MMOG aimed at kids, and allows for the creation of customizable creatures that can be leveled up and taken into battle. 

View the new trailer here.

Warhammer Online : Producer's Letter Assuages WAR Fears

Posted Nov 13, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Executive producer Jeff Hickman responds to the recent news of major layoffs at Mythic in a producer's letter addressed to the WAR community. Naturally many fans of the game are concerned, and Hickman writes to ease the fears centering around WAR's future due to recent developments.

On the matter of WAR, Hickman had this to say:

-Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has had a solid first year despite some issues that we’re working to address every day. We’ve seen a great response to 1.3.2, which introduced tremendous performance improvements. A flood of new players are discovering the game every day thanks to the recently released Endless Trial and New User Journey. Moving forward we remain committed to releasing more great patches, continued performance improvements, and changes based upon your valuable feedback!

Read the full letter here.

UPDATE: WAR Producer Jeff Skalski added to Mr. Hickman's comments in a new letter published on the WAR Herald yesterday. Mr. Skalski takes some time to highlight some of WAR's more recent accomplishments such as the launch of the Mac client, the New User Journey, and the Endless Trial, while also pointing ahead to the future with an update on version 1.3.3:

1.3.3 brings with it a focus on continued polish and bug fixes, enhancements to RvR as well as other features to improve the quality and enjoyment of your experience. We’ll be sprucing up graphics with improved lighting options and bloom to make the skies pop to life and create some spectacular sights, in addition over the course of 1.3.3 you’ll get to enjoy three live events including the return of the Battlebrew Backpack in Keg End and the much beloved Night of Murder event in addition to an all new event in the new year…yarrrr. We’re anything but bored as you can see and we can’t wait to open the gates on PTS to hear your feedback. Your feedback is vital to ensuring 1.3.3 is a hit so make sure you share it!

Read Jeff Skalski's letter here.

[Thanks Comnitus!]

General : Player Perspectives: Industry Layoffs

Posted Nov 13, 2009 by Jon Wood columnist Jaime Skelton addresses the number of layoffs that we have seen in and around the MMO industry recently and talks about how this kind of news can affect players.

Jaime Skelton

This week's layoffs at EA - particularly at Mythic Entertainment, who run Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, and Warhammer Online - are a sore reminder of the economic situation. In the past year, we've seen several MMOs close their doors: Shadowbane, The Matrix Online, Dungeon Runners, Tabula Rasa, and about half a dozen various free to play MMOs. Other games, named and unnamed, have been axed before they even entered a playable phase of testing.

As gamers, sure, we're concerned about the economy. But we're also very concerned about how it affects our gaming. Budget cuts, or staffing cuts, mean a lot more at an MMO. Because MMOs are staff-heavy and require constant supervision from multiple teams (customer service, server maintenance, new content development, etc.), we have good reason to be concerned. Our MMOs aren't just games that can be cranked out of a basement. They aren't Torchlight (at least, not for another two years.)

Read Player Perspectives: Industry Layoffs.

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