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.
Andrew Cranston has been playing Auto Assault since launch and today files our MMORPG.com Review. He scores the game 6.9 out of a possible 10 points. Read on to find out why.
| The game has virtually no user base yet. You may come across a user once every half hour of game play or so, depending on what part of the map you’re on, and the further you advance the less likely you are to see players based on the fact that the user base is so small, there hasn’t been enough users play the game to higher levels as of yet. That being said, the players you do meet are mostly available for trade or for chat (there is a global chat function where you can send messages to all users).
Because of this problem there is a fatal flaw in the game regarding classes. The game was designed to have “convoys” of users attempting missions, and therefore each character class would have something different to add to the convoy. I’ve been playing the game mostly with the Human – Bounty Hunter class, and have come to several situations where I’m just not strong enough to survive certain altercations with particular enemies. The game is set up with a very strong single-player focus, and if you wanted to play the game as a single player with no interaction with other users, it could be achieved. My advice to you: play the Commando (fighter) class. The game is centered around the idea that you’re out there, killing everything in sight, so you might as well have killing as your primary skill.
You can read more here.
Star Wars: Galaxies has announced that they have reached their three year anniversary and have some celebrations planned to commemorate the event:
It's been three years since gamers across the world began jumping online to adventure in a galaxy far, far away…and now it's time to celebrate!
To commemorate Star Wars Galaxies' third year anniversary, there will be events, parties, in-game gifts and even a sweepstakes!
Don't miss it!
For more on SWG, click here.
There's a new Dev Chest posted over at the official website for SOE's EverQuest II. The Dev Chest points players toward useful posts that have been made by members of the development team:
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 EQ II, click here.
It's the weekend, which means that there's a new Grab Bag over at the Camelot Herald, the news source for Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot. As usual, we present a small sampling of the grab baggy goodness, so click hte link below to read it all!
Q: - All single target bolts belonging to the Wizard, Runemaster, Eldritch, Shaman and Warlock have had their cast timers reduced from 2.5 to 2.0 seconds.
Is the warlock bolt (spec and non-spec) getting the cast time reduced to 2.0 sec from 4.0? or was warlock added into the list by mistake?
A: Not a mistake, says the Big Wheel in charge of class design. Let us know how it works.
Q: Does the Scepter of Intellect still drop off the upgraded mobs in Avalon Marsh? It's a level 15ish item, but the mobs have been upgraded.
A: We sometimes overlook a few drops when we upgrade an area, so I'm always glad to check. The forest smugglers and trackers both have the chance to drop the item, more tracker than smuggler, but it’s a hell of a rare drop either way.
Read it all, here.
The Guild Wars website has been updated with information about their second skill pin set, as well as a new, PDF Downloadable version of the manual for Guild Wars Factions:
A PDF version of the Guild Wars Factions game manual is online now and available for you to download. This allows those who purchase the game through our PlayNC Store to have their own copy of the manual, and gives others the opportunity to save the manual on their computer or to print an extra copy. Check back next week when we'll be offering a PDF of the Prophecies game manual.
For more on Guild Wars, click here.
Blizzard has announced that they are testing new forums for the official website for their popular MMORPG, World of WarCraft. They are asking for their user's help in identifying problems and making comments on the new boards:
We're in the final stages of development for our new World of Warcraft forums, and we need your help to make sure everything is bolted on tight. The new forums will offer the same great place for World of Warcraft players to congregate and discuss the game, but with a new look and some new features. Go check them out, and while you're there, please provide us with bug reports and any other comments you have. Please note that all of our current forums will remain live while we beta test these new forums.
For more WoW, click here.
Duck's Den Productions, the company responsible for the MMORPG, Valhyre: The Aftermath, have announced that they have opened their tester application form:
Interview and Tester Application
Bloomington, MN. July 17, 2006: Duck’s Den Productions Inc is happy to announce the opening of the tester application form for its product “Valhyre: The Aftermath”. Tester will be accepted in the order their applications are received. It will take a few more month though before tester are let into the game. The form is available at this link. Additionally there was an interview done with the people at Onlinewelten.com. The english version can be found here and the german version is located here .
More information can be found at the Valhyre™ community site www.valhyre.com.
For more on Valhyre, click here.
As many readers already know, Wolfpack Studios, the company that was responsible for the MMORPG, Shadowbane, has closed its doors. There is, however, a company that seems to have risen from the ashes in Stray Bullet Games, a company made up of former Wolfpack employees. The new company is already up and moving and among some other non-disclosed projects, are developing their own title, which is as-yet-unannounced:
AUSTIN, TX -- Key developers formerly of Wolfpack Studios, have announced the formation of Stray Bullet Games, LLC. Based in Austin, Texas, the new company will focus on creating and supporting massively-multiplayer online (MMO) games, the gaming genre that is a global sensation.
“Our studio is thrilled to have a chance to pursue this opportunity,” says Frank Lucero, Co-Founder and Vice President of Product Development of Stray Bullet Games. “Our team has been making innovative MMOs for years and we look forward to using our experience and know-how to forge exciting new online titles.”
Stray Bullet Games is already working on several undisclosed contracts. In addition, the company is developing their own unannounced project.
“Considering our roots and our team’s gaming interests, we will play toward our strengths,” says Frank. “It’s a safe bet our internal project will feature strategic Player-vs.-Player combat.”
The Stray Bullet team is comprised entirely of key developers from the former Wolfpack Studios. Frank is supported by Technical Director Ala Diaz, Art Director Ivan Enriquez, and Lead Designer Mike Madden. Between the four of them, they have over 50 years experience in the professional game industry.
Stray Bullet Games is forming one of the most creative, talented, and experienced teams in the industry. Interested parties that wish to learn more can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.straybulletgames.com.
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Jon and Carolyn debate this week as we continue our weekly series. Today, Carolyn takes the position that quests are an important part of MMORPGs, while Jon believes its time for some original thought on that matter. What do you think? Read on, then tell us.
|Carolyn Koh: MMORPGs have their roots well entombed in the role-playing genre. The very first MUDS (Multi-user Dungeons) were based on table-top RPGs (Role Playing Games), and what were they based on? Quests!
It’s not an MMORPG without quests. Even if most of the game-play is about killing things, gearing up your character and gaining xp, an MMORPG would not be as immersive without the story-line and the quests. Or as I am debating… It’s all about the Quests!
Jon Wood: I wouldn’t go that far. While quests do currently play a role in most MMORPGs, they are not the be-all and end-all of a game. I think that there are other, more organic means of progressing through a game.
Why not allow characters to advance through combat and exploration, unscripted. Allow the players to decide for themselves what it is that they want their characters to do. It’s not always fun to run through a game, knowing that all of the people around you are doing the same things as you are, completing the same quests and advancing in exactly the same way.
You can read their debate here.
We have added a new game to our games list. This time around, the game is called Cabal Online.
'Story Based Cinematic Scenarios and Intricate Plot'
CABAL's numerous intriguing quests and exhilarating missions weave together to form intricate plots that absorb players into the story where they become the heroes.
'Fun & Easy'
Intuitive and user friendly, CABAL removes entry barriersfor first-time gamers and late-starters.
'MMORPG Blends Adventure Intrigue & Arcade Action'
Time limited dungeons, blazing action scenes, perplexing puzzles and traps keep players enthralled in the story and driven to achieve more.
'Fabulous Graphics are Highly Optimized'
The ESTsoft gaming graphics engine runs happily on old PCs and graphic cards, while still maintaining high frame rates with ornate characters and villains.
You can hype this game, here.
This week on the Game/On Podcast, co-hosts Jon Wood and Garrett Fuller talk about World of WarCraft, cheating, results from the Daedalus Project that give statistics on role-playing and MMORPGs and a new MMO reality show.
You can hear the show here.