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Atlantica Online : The Mercenaries of Atlantica

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Jon Wood

Today, we here at continue our series of Atlantica Online Dev Journals with Kim Tae Gon, the Producer of Atlantica Online. Today, we present a look at the game's Mercenary System.

Happy new year! For this first developer's journal of 2009, I'd like to continue from my last entry, and go into more detail about Atlantica's mercenary system; more specifically, how we're going to add new mercenaries as the game evolves and hopefully, with players' help, grows.

But before doing that, let me remind you that Atlantica's mercenary system is the second of the two main features we devised to make our game different from most of the MMORPGs out there. The first is the turn-based action, and the combination of turn-based combat and multiple characters to manipulate and move, we thought, would add a new level of strategy and tension into our gameplay, making Atlantica more fun and exciting in the process.

Read The Mercenaries of Atlantica

Ryzom : Now at a New Price

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Ryzom have announced a new pricing scheme for the game which offers lower prices and a new 12 month payment option.

Dear Players and Homins,

Well, 2008 was surely a roller coaster ride for the game of Ryzom, so many turns of events for our beloved game.
The Ryzom team would like to thank you for all your help and support in keeping the Ryzom Community alive and well over this period.
It is with great pleasure that we wish you all a happy new year for 2009 and extend to you and your families the very best of health, happiness, love and prosperity for the year ahead.
What more could you wish for? Maybe more free play on Ryzom I hear you ask? Well we have listened and for the month of January you will still be able to enjoy playing the game of Ryzom for free.
As you will be aware Ryzom cannot develop and prosper as a "free to play" game forever, and therefore we have released Ryzom's New Pricing structure as follows. I am sure you will be pleased with the new prices.

Read more here.

Runescape : 2009: Year of the Upgrade

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Runescape have revealed their plans for what 2009 will have in store for the game, saying that this year they will be focusing on fixing minor problems and making small improvements rather than working on flashy expansions or new game systems.

So, the first post of the New Year and you’ll be wondering what the next 12 months in RuneScape will bring. The past year saw the introduction of PvP Worlds, RuneScape High Detail, Summoning, our first Grandmaster quest, combat minigames, and Distractions and Diversions. What can we do to top 2008?

Well, this is the challenge that we’ve set ourselves: 2009 has become our official Upgrade Year! So, what does that mean? It means our New Year's resolution is to tweak and polish what we've already got in the game alongside creating new content. For example:

  • Doing the 'little' jobs that make a big difference (e.g. a 'You are here' arrow on the world map) and basically fixing all the annoying little quirks the game has. Things that may be the least glamorous to work on and talk about, but which really add up.
  • Updating some of the earliest content/quests to bring it up to date, and take advantage of all the features we have added to the game engine since it was originally created. Also, reworking old clues that no longer work now the game is bigger (e.g. 'Look west of the mountains' was fine when there was only one mountain, but not now).
  • Making the interfaces as intuitive, flexible and user-friendly as possible.
  • Then, after all that, we’ll start looking into abandoned and barely used areas/features of the game, and breathing new life into them.

Read more here.

EverQuest : New Server and Server Merges

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

SOE has announced that they will be merging EverQuest's "The Combine" and "Druzzil Ro (Xev)" servers this January, and in March they will be adding a new server of a type to be determined by player vote.

On January 21, 2009, EQ will be consolidating "The Combine" server and "Druzzil Ro (Xev)" server into one server to be titled "Druzzil Ro (Xev, Combine)." The merge will begin at 3 a.m. PST and will last approximately five hours.

In addition, in conjunction with the upcoming EQ 10th Anniversary celebration, SOE is expecting to add a new EQ server in March 2009 and players will be able to vote on a new server type. To provide your input on the type of server you'd like, you can visit later in January to vote in a poll.

We hope that these changes will provide players with an even more enjoyable EQ experience.

Read more here.

Earthrise: First Impact : Now Accepting Beta Applications

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

Masthead Studios has announced that they are now accepting beta applications for Earthrise, their post-apocalyptic sci-fi MMORPG.

Masthead Studios is excited to announce that Beta Applications for Earthrise, the post-apocalyptic, science fiction MMORPG, are now available to players. We invite everyone to complete an application for a chance to join the developers in this exploratory stage of Earthrise and to take an early peek into the world of Enterra Island.

Please submit your Beta Application here:

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Druid Restoration Abilities

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Jon Wood World of Warcraft Correspondent James Wood continues his look at the Druid with this overview of the nature-loving class's Restoration abilities.

The word "Restoration" is enough to describe the purpose of this section of the Druid's skills. It's mostly about healing your party members long enough for them to get the job done. Most Druids become familiar with this tree, especially when they happen to be one of the few heal-capable classes in the group.

Read Druid Restoration Abilities

Godswar : Priest Skill Video

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

 	Priest Skill VideoThe folks at IGG have released a new video which shows off the skills and abilities of the priest class in GodsWar Online.

Watch the video here.


Spellborn : Dev Journal: Explain Your Skill Deck

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

Vincent Leeuw, Content Designer for The Chronicles of Spellborn has posted a new dev journal where he explains his strategies for building a successful skill deck.

First off: the knack in becoming efficient in combat is to have an efficient Skill Deck. As combat is pretty hectic to start with (you need to walk, aim and 'fire' your Skills at the same time), you don't want to spend much time looking at your Combat Bar trying to figure out which Skill to use, especially as you have no standard attack outside of your Skills.
The key to efficiency is creating sequences.

You can modify your Skill Deck by dragging the icons from your Skill Book (B key) to your Skill Deck (N key). Moving them around within the Skill Deck swaps them. Drop them outside the Skill Deck to remove them and hold Shift while clicking and holding to duplicate a Skill icon. (Note that multiple instances of the same Skill all share the same cooldown at any given moment!)

A sequence is a column of Skills in your Skill Deck that have a certain synergy. Firing off one Skill will start a buff/debuff (positive/negative status effect) that the next Skill in the sequence can take advantage of. Having a proper sequence means that you can continuously attack, even when it reaches the last Skill and then falls back on the first in the sequence. That means you can keep the left mouse button pressed and only have to focus upon movement and aim.

Read more here.

Godswar : Second Alpha Starts January 9th

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that the second round of Alpha testing for GodsWar Online will begin on Friday, January 9th.

IGG today announce that they would be holding a second Alpha Test for GodsWar Online ( which starts on Jan 9th, 2009.

GodsWar Online, the first MMORPG that IGG developed, will launch its second Alpha Test at 9:00pm January 8th EST (GMT-5) and the new client will be available on January 7th. Soon after that, activation codes will be given out, and players who joined the last Alpha Test can enter the game directly.

We will release a server called Atlanta. This server will be the place where players can enjoy the new version and events in advance. After the test, players' data will not be deleted. However, as it is an Alpha Test, we will make a few adjustments to any problematic data in the game. With a host of brand-new content, game version 1.85 will be adopted in this test.

In this version, we have improved the guild system and guild quests, added a suit system and beautified the special gear effects. We are sure this new content will make your GodsWar gaming experience even better. More details will be published later.

For the sake of the safety of players' data and the best performance of the game, officials have decided to release the second Alpha Test, which means the Closed Beta will be delayed. Also, please remember that all data will be preserved this time.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : 2008 Recap

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Jon Wood's newest writer, Ernest Ross writes this rundown of 2008 in Flying Lab Software's Pirates of the Burning Sea.

2008 has been a wild year for the MMO industry, seeing three highly-anticipated and competitive MMO releases meet with varying degrees success (Pirates of the Burning Sea, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, Age of Conan), huge changes for old mainstays (particularly EQ/EQII) and the fall of one game that released with such high expectations after just one year (NCSoft's Tabula Rasa) citing a "failure to meet performance expectations."

Of the three big 2008 releases, two of them were well received in their first few months and then came under bombardment from what seemed like non-stop bad feedback, negative word-of-mouth advertising reverberating down the Internet tubes in every major online gaming community. Indeed, in some circles it's difficult for people to say the words "Funcom" or "Age of Conan" with a straight face and there are still people who seem not to have even heard of PotBS! The third of them, Mythic's WAR, only released in September but, while it's still too early to tell, there have already been signs of disappointment among those who had hoped for the rise of a "WoW-Killer".

Read the Pirates of the Burning Sea 2008 Recap

Zu Online : Mascot System Overview

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Zu Online have released an overview of the game's mascot system, which uses the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

Zu Online ( is a 3D MMORPG based on immortal beings and kung fu. When creating a character, players need to select a mascot so they can get its blessings during certain periods of their epic journey through the world of Zu.

The Zu Online developers added the mascot system to the game in the beginning of the games development. The selectable mascots are the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. The mascots give blessings in turn every 15 minutes. For example, during the period the Dog gives blessings, a player whose mascot is the Dog can get blessings from the Spirit Master in Holy City or Jamon in Desert City. With this blessing, their experience gained in combat will increase by 50% for certain duration.

The Zu Online developers have also added the Treasure Map system, flying mounts and more unique aspects to the game. These exciting features show players that they are not only in an original supernatural world but also gives them a lot of enjoyment.

Read more here.

Voyage Century Online : New Instance Overview

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

IGG has published an overview of three new instances designed for veteran players in Voyage Century Online.

The folks at Voyage Century recently introduced us to 3 of the 6 newly added instances in the new version. Well, today they are going to continue talking to you about the remaining 3 new instances.

As was mentioned before, the Cretan labyrinth, Mallorca Cave, and Madagascar are the instances suitable for medium and low level players. However, the Taj Mahal, the Beijing Emperor Mausoleum, and the Mayan Civilization are places for veteran players’.

Taj Mahal

The great Taj Mahal is testament to the brilliance of the ancient culture of India. Under the moonlight it’s white stone shines with unearthly brilliance. However, it is now being damaged by wild animals, robbers, and by the most unmerciful force of all, time. Some people have even seen ghosts prowling the grounds.

Beijing Emperor Mausoleum

Once, the governor of Jin Xi province and the rebels he was supposed to be fighting conspired to overthrow the government. They buried tons of treasure to finance their rebellion. However their plot was discovered before they were able to act and they were rounded up and executed. The treasure they hid was lost to the ages. Many people know the treasure exists somewhere, but so far no one has been able to find it.

Mayan Civilization

The Mayan Civilization, an ancient Native American culture that represented one of the greatest civilizations in the world. They thrived for more than 2,000 years. Building massive stone pyramids, temples, and sculptures; as well as developing a system of writing using hieroglyphs; and recording their achievements in mathematics and astronomy they were pioneers in many fields of study. Tomatoes, corn, and potatoes they first planted are have now spread all over the world.

Read more here.

Last Chaos : Phoenix System and Major Update

Posted Jan 06, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Last Chaos have announced that the game will be receiving a major content update in early January which will add new high level content, a new crafting system, an alternate character advancement system called "The Phoenix System", and more.

Santa Clara, Calif. - Jan. 6, 2009 - Aeria Games Last Chaos U.S.A. is proud to announce their first major steps into the building of an "End" game empire. Coming early January Last Chaos will be receiving a slew of new content for both old and new players. This content expansion marks the first phase of a massive overhaul of the game, targeting major game systems.

This latest content expansion will include the following:

  • An alternate character advancement system dubbed "The Phoenix System" will add a new element to leveling. These "Phoenix" characters will have extra statistic points, and will do more overall damage than normal characters. The characters will also be easily identifiable by their unique armor and weapons.
  • Brand new armor and weapons for all regular classes. This new armor includes visible helmets for the players, something that the community has asked for since the launch of the game in 2007.
  • A new high level end game dungeon filled with brand new never before seen monsters. The dungeon which has been placed in the high level zone of Strayana, includes new items and accessories.
  • Never before seen monsters complete with advanced A.I. and deadly combat skills.
  • The launch of a new crafting system, that allows players to create some of the most powerful items in game. This crafting system will be directly tied to the new armor and weapons, giving players more control over their equipment
  • A unique pet color pattern that can be placed over the already highly customizable drake or horse pets.

Read more here.

Star Wars: The Old Republic : DevBlog: Animation and Lightsaber Duels

Posted Jan 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Bioware have posted a new article by Mark How, the Principal Lead Animator for Star Wars: The Old Republic, where he talks about what he does as an animator.

Star Wars™ is one the most memorable movie experiences of my childhood. The visual experience of it was unlike anything else of that decade. It was a movie phenomenon that sparked the imagination of every person who watched it. I’m dating myself now, but as a kid, I remember playing with the Kenner Star Wars toys back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I had an overly buff version of Luke Skywalker who had a lightsaber that retracted in and out of his arm and a pretty awesome version of Darth Vader. I remember playing for endless hours recreating every scene in the movie. Now, years later, I have the opportunity to help recreate that experience and dive deeper into the character development that we know and love so much. Back in the day, moving Luke’s super buff arm in an up and down and smashing lightsabers together gave the impression that they were engaged in combat that mimicked the movies, but today’s video games give us the opportunity to magnify that experience by 10,000 fold.

Combat is extremely crucial to the success of most video games and Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ is no exception. By referencing the films, we are able to create dynamic and exciting combat, but we are also challenged by the films themselves to deliver that same experience in a user controlled environment. The core of combat in Star Wars movies has always been centralized around the iconic saber battles. And what would a Star Wars game be without fantastic lightsaber battles?

Read more here.

General : Biggest News Story of 2008: Winner

Posted Jan 05, 2009 by Jon Wood is pleased to announce the winner of the 2008 Reader's Choice Award for Biggest News Story of 2008.

In the voting for Biggest News Story, 2202 votes were cast. The editorial nominees were: Tabula Rasa's Closure, Activision / Blizzard Merger, Age of Conan Directorial Change, Bioware Announces The Old Republic, Star Trek Online Re-Announcement, and WAR Ditches Cities and Careers.

With 46.8% of the vote, the winner of the Biggest News Story of 2008 was Bioware's Announcement that their secret MMO project was indeed the rumored MMORPG incarnation of the Knights of the Old Republic frnachise, titled Star Wars:The Old Republic.

Read the Biggest News Story of 2008: Winner

EVE Online : EVE Breaks Peak Concurrent User Record

Posted Jan 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced that the record for Peak Concurrent Users in EVE Online has been broken. The new record stands at 45,186 players.

What a great way to start out 2009--a new PCU (Peak Concurrent User) record of 45,186! While we've made tremendous serverside changes in the EVE Online infrastructure with the EVE64 and StacklessIO initiatives, it is truly a testament to our loyal fans that 5 years into EVE's existence we are still breaking records and more people are flying in New Eden than ever before.

We know we'll be trying to find leftover champagne from New Year's EVE to celebrate. When we do, we'll toast to you!

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Avatar Combat Screenshot Contest

Posted Jan 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Pirates of the Burning Sea have announced that they are holding a screenshot contest, where players have the chance to win game time and forum tittles.

To celebrate the release of our Avatar Combat revision in 1.11: The Clash of Steel, we are giving you the chance to share your best screenshots with the community and have the chance to win some prizes at the same time!

We will be selecting a winner two runners up every Friday throughout January. Winners will receive a special forum title and 3 months of free game time. The two runners up will each receive a Pirates of the Burning Sea t-shirt. All winning screenshots will also be added to our official screenshot gallery and be added to the queue of screenshots displayed on our front page!

Read more here.

Conquer Online : VIP Service

Posted Jan 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

TQ Games has posted information about their new VIP service in Conquer Online, which allows players a number of benefits, including remote access to warehouses, server login priority and more.

Conquer's realm is enormous. You can travel through many varied lands, like plains, islands and deserts. However, this geographical mass could become the barrier for players to access those scattered warehouses. One has to spend time and money travelling between different warehouses and artisans.

Now you never need be troubled again! The only thing you need to do is to join Conquer Online VIP Service. If you credit TQ Point Cards >=150 USD from Jan. 1st, 2008, then you are eligible to the VIP service. By Binding Accounts to the VIP service, players can gain some elite privileges. These VIP features provide VIP players with more convenience than others. But for non-paying players, don't be discouraged - we will maintain the essential gameplay balance in Conquer Online.

Recommended Privileges:

1. Remotely open the warehouses around the world of Conquer Online.
2. Remotely repair or compose the equipment even when stuck in the deepest dungeon.
3. One more time Demon Exterminators Quest each day.
4. 50% off for the PK-killed EXP loss.
5. Server login priority

Read more here.

Angels Online : Guild System Overview

Posted Jan 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

IGG has posted an overview of the guild system in Angels Online.

The guild system in Angels Online ( is closely linked with in-game PVP battles. Only players in a guild are qualified to occupy a totem. Powerful guilds have more chances to grab the best territory, so guild improvement should always be a top priority for successful PVP. Today, the Angels Online team from IGG ( is happy to briefly introduce their guild system for all players.

There are four ranks for guilds in Angels Online. The higher the rank of the guild, the more guild members it can hold. The guild system plays a very important role in Totem Battles, which is basically a competition among guilds. Players can donate certain materials to enhance their guild’s reputation. When their guilds rank is enhanced, the guild can then recruit more guild members. What’s more, the Guild Coffer will be available to all guild members to assist with guild members needs. Only with more guild members and reasonable cooperation among different classes can a guild win the Totem Battle.

Players whose guild possesses a territory can claim an Angel’s Gift Box from the appointed NPC every day. Meanwhile, they can enhance their totem so that they have an even better chance to win battles. Players can enhance their guild’s reputation while they are building defense towers for their totem.

Pay attention! Production players become very important in the process of increasing the guild’s reputation because they can collect the materials which are necessary to level the guild up. The guild’s reputation can be enhanced quickly if there are many players who possess high-level collection skills in the guild. Apart from production players, fighting players and magic players are the main forces in the PVP battles because of their high damage output.

When players’ Angel Credit reaches level 3, players can go find the appointed NPC in the main cities and create a guild by paying a certain amount of in-game money.

Read more here.

General : Wind Slayer Play Testers Wanted

Posted Jan 05, 2009 by Keith Cross

Outspark has announced that they are looking for players to help test their new MMORPG tittle, Wind Slayer.

San Francisco – January 5, 2009 – Outspark, a leading entertainment services company that publishes and operates massively multiplayer online games, announced today the closed beta test for its newest game, Wind Slayer. Between January 7th and 14th, players will have a chance to embark on a hero’s journey through hundreds of quests and intense battles to earn experience, treasure and prestige. Outspark encourages gamers of all ages to sign up for a free account and register for the closed beta now at

The testing period offers participants the elite opportunity to be one of the first to experience Wind Slayer in its entirety. Participants will also provide Outspark with valuable feedback that will be used to further refine the game before its wider release later this year.

“Outspark offers rides for every type of thrill seeker coming to play in our virtual playground,” stated Susan Choe, CEO and founder of Outspark. “Wind Slayer’s character customization and multiplayer options combined with its side scrolling style and simple controls make the game a perfect fit for all gamers wanting to enjoy a fun-filled crusade with friends they meet in the Outspark community.”

Set on the beautiful continent of Beuritania, Wind Slayer invites adventurers to travel a diverse land filled with everything from beautiful, grass covered meadows and mountaintops to curious villages, dark caves and even an underwater city. Along the way players gain skills, weapons and experience as their characters grow stronger and choose one of the game’s six exciting classes – Warrior, Archer, Mage, Rogue, Monk and Priest.

Additional Wind Slayer Features Include:

* Hundreds of in-game items to customize your character
* Powerful skills and deadly combos to battle foes
* Hundreds of engaging in-game quests
* Intense multiplayer battles with up to 20 simultaneous players
* Beautiful fantasy worlds and captivating visual effects
* Engaging community features including chat, trade, guilds and more

Read more here.

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