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Age of Conan : New Clan of Conan

Posted Nov 04, 2007 by Jon Wood

Funcom has released a new edition of the Clan of Conan newsletter for our reading pleasure.

Buried deep beneath an ominous mountain that looms behind Kheshatta, rests the infamous home of the Black Ring Citadel. This week we share a peek into this beautiful location with a new video, wallpaper and some new screenshots. Let us not forget to mention the new special feature that takes a glance at the character development in detail.

Read it here.

General : Editor's Week in Review - WAR, TR, EVE

Posted Nov 03, 2007 by Jon Wood

In this new column, MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood sums up his thoughts on some of the happenings around the world of MMOs in the past week. This week, he talks about Warhammer Online's release date being pushed back, Tabula Rasa and EVE Online.

Well, it’s Saturday. That means that it falls on me to sit down and start a new weekly tradition here at MMORPG.com, the Editor’s Round-Up. In this new column feature, I’m going to look at one or more of the week’s top stories and do something I don’t often get to do: give my two cents.

We decided to add this column last week, and so I’ve spent the week trying to decide what major stories would pop out at me and make good fodder for the first edition of a column. I wasn’t having a lot of luck… That is, until Thursday night.

Read it all here.

General : Child's Play Charity Drive

Posted Nov 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

Child's Play has announced the opening of their charity drive. Child's Play is a charity started by the guys from Penny Arcade to benefit children's hospitals in a number of countries.

 Seattle, WA -  November 2, 2007 -  Child's Play (www.childsplaycharity.org) is proud to announce the opening of its charity drive. The organization, which started as a fundraiser for the Seattle Children's Hospital, has since raised over two million dollars in toys, games and cash through its online toy drive and annual charity auction to over 45 hospitals worldwide.

"For the first ten months of the year, our community makes, plays and breathes games." said Kristin Lindsay at Child's Play. "Our holiday drive is not only an opportunity to share that joy with those that need it, but it's also a great way to show the strength of our culture."
Now in its fifth year, Child's Play has expanded its network of beneficiary hospitals to over 25 states and five countries across the globe with additional partner hospitals being added each month. Child's Play works in conjunction with Amazon.com to create wish lists for participating hospitals. Individual donors can choose to give new items ranging from toddler toys to music CDs, videogames, game consoles and accessories. Gifts are delivered directly to hospitals in need and are tax deductible as denoted by law.

The annual Child's Play Fundraiser Dinner Auction will be held Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington. The semi-formal evening features a silent auction, dinner and live auction. In 2006 the dinner raised over $200,000 in one night, with all fundraising proceeds going directly to the Child's Play network of hospitals.

Child's Play is seeking corporate donations for giveaway at Children's Hospitals as well as auction items for the fundraising dinner. For information on how to become a corporate or individual donor or how hospitals can become involved please contact Kristin Lindsay at klindsay@penny-arcade.com or 206.274.0024.

More on Child's Play here.

Warhammer Online : Newsletter

Posted Nov 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

With yet more Warhammer news, the folks at EA Mythic have released the October newsletter. In the newsletter, you will find the State of the Game post made on the WAR Herald, you will also find a great array of first looks, video podcasts, and the revelation of the High Elf Shadow Warrior.

When Nagarythe was riven by civil war, most of the Elves there sided with the Witch King, becoming Dark Elves. Those faithful to the Phoenix King swore to fight Malekith and his treacherous forces. These ill-fated Elves became the Shadow Warriors – the darkest, most sinister and brutal of all the High Elves.

Many High Elves have observed the brutal behavior of their kin from Nagarythe and recoiled in horror. Unsurprisingly, there are High Elves that whisper that the shadow war has left the vicious warriors of Nargarythe more like their Druchii enemies than they would dare admit.

- Warhammer Armies: High Elves

Check out the whole thing here.

Pi Story : Second Closed Beta Test

Posted Nov 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

Pi Story has announced that they are moving in to their second Closed Beta phase.

Seoul, Korea - November 2, 2007 - South Korean developer NCONY Enterprise announced today that the second closed beta for Pi Story (http://pistory.gamengame.com), its 2D side scrolling anime action game, is now over. Game servers are now closed to players and will reopen for a third closed beta test, with dates to be announced later on the website.

Compared to the first version released in September, the second version included changes and fixes to bugs previously reported in the initial test, new maps, the introduction of a new Cleric job class in addition to the Fighter and Newbie classes, an improved battle system, and overall improvements to the performance of the game client and network, resulting in less network latency and server crashes.

"These last two tests have focused on streamlining the core foundation of the game programming," said Mary Min, a spokesperson for the company. "Now that we have a strong base to operate on, we will start to focus on the fun parts - adding more content, innovative features, and our Web 2.0 technology-based components. Furthermore, our top priority for the next beta test will be to implement suggestions made to us by our players during the previous beta tests."

She added, "We plan on doing multiple closed beta tests, which is quite unheard of for Korean games entering the global market. Korean games usually run one or two closed beta tests before going live with an open beta, but we are taking a radically different approach by offering the game in stages. This allows our players to greatly contribute to the shaping of the final product, and have a say in what our game will turn out to be. We are going to let our players decide what the game looks like; it's true to our company's motto: Games made by gamers for gamers."

NCONY strongly encourages all of its players to send feedback via email, postings on the forum, through the game, and through the Support page of its website. For more information regarding the game, please visit the website at http://pistory.gamengame.com.

More here.

RF Online : Codemasters talk Business Model with MSN

Posted Nov 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

Codemasters VP David Solari talks to MSN about the recent changes to the business models for Archlord and RF Online.

With millions of people prepared to pay out hard earned cash on a regular basis for the pleasure of playing them, Massively Multiplayer Online games have revolutionised the computer games industry.
 
The likes of Lord of the Rings Online and industry behemoth World of Warcraft have accrued millions of players, and the monthly fees to get into the servers and play the game, creating a multi-billion pound industry.
 
The startling rise of broadband connectivity and the obvious desire of the game-playing public to embrace online social networking through both sites like Facebook or MySpace or games such as WoW or LotR, means that companies are flocking to the MMO arena.
 
But, can this burgeoning area evolve into more enticing ways of paying? Can those reticent to pay a monthly fee for a product be persuaded to invest time and money in a different way?

Read the rest at MSN here.

Warhammer Online : State of the Game

Posted Nov 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

Further to last night's story regarding the launch date of WAR, Mark Jacobs addressed the fans in a State of the Game message available on the WAR Herald.

In 2005, when Mythic signed the licensing agreement for Warhammer, I promised Games Workshop that we would create a great and glorious game. When Electronic Arts acquired us a year later, I told them the same thing. Now, a year after that acquisition, nothing has changed: we still intend to deliver the next great MMORPG. As many of you may have heard, we have extended WAR’s development cycle until the 2nd quarter of 2008. The reason is simple; we will not release Warhammer Online until it is the game we set out to create two years ago.

Our goals for Warhammer Online are not easily met. The game includes many new and innovative ideas, a feature set that is going to blow players away, and, most importantly, the best RvR system in MMORPG gaming. These things take time to implement and test properly. During the last phase of beta testing, we received valuable feedback from our testers that will help make these features even better. When we looked at our options, two paths lay before us: 1) Ship the game on time with fewer features and less polish, or 2) Extend the development cycle and spend the needed time and money to make WAR great. We chose the latter path - to invest additional time and effort in implementation and polish to make WAR great. Fortunately, we have the resources and support of EA behind us to extend our development cycle; time that will be used to make sure the game is everything we want it to be. WAR is coming, and it will be glorious.

Read the whole thing here.

Tabula Rasa : Launch Press Release

Posted Nov 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

Yesterday, NCsoft put out a press release in anticipation of today's commercial launch of Tabula Rasa.

AUSTIN, Texas, November 1, 2007— NCsoft®, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announced today that Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa®, a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game for the PC where players are thrust into an exciting intergalactic struggle, launches commercial service in North America and Europe on November 2, 2007.

“Now the fun begins! I can’t wait to join thousands of other players in this exciting galactic war,” said Richard Garriott, the game’s executive producer. “It is time for us to release Tabula Rasa to the players. I am eager to see player reaction to the game, and am ready to build on what we’ve started here. We’ve got plans for new features and expansions for the foreseeable future and I’m hoping the players will enjoy the game and get excited about what’s in store for them next!”

Tabula Rasa, one of the most anticipated PC titles of the year, is the vision of gaming legend Richard Garriott. The game combines a rich game world and deep storyline with military combat and fast paced action. Set in a near-future science fiction backdrop, players must fight to save humanity against hostile alien enemies trying to gain control of the universe.

“Dell and NCsoft have worked together closely over the past few years,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Inc. “I think Richard has really created a compelling game in Tabula Rasa. This game gives those who enjoy role-playing a rich and deep experience, while appealing to action gamers too. He’s taken this game beyond being the next MMO entry into the field. It really is a fun, fast paced combat game that provides even more depth for players who want it. I’m excited to join the fight!”

The game introduces several innovative elements to massively multiplayer online games, including a Character Cloning System™ that allows players to explore different character classes without having to create a new character, and dynamic battlefields where players feel the frenetic action of combat in an ongoing war.

“We are all very excited about the addition of Tabula Rasa to our catalog of games,” stated Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft’s North American operation. “One of NCsoft’s goals is to provide different types of online gaming products – both within the ‘proven’ fantasy genre and outside the genre, as well. This game is truly unique; we hope that Tabula Rasa’s science fiction background and military combat action proves to be enjoyable to many types of gamers.”

The standard edition box of Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa will be available at major online retailers at an expected retail price of $49.99 and at the PlayNC® store (https://secure.plaync.com/cgi-bin/Store.pl). Customers will be able to purchase the Limited Collector’s Edition box from major retailers at an expected retail price of $69.99. Both products include the first month of online game play. After the first month, players will be charged a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99. Sixty-day game time cards will also be available at many North American retailers for an expected retail price of US$29.99. The game is rated Teen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

More on TR here.

General : MMOWTF: Horror

Posted Nov 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

This week, Dan Fortier waxes poetic about bringing a truly scary MMORPG to the market and what that might entail from developers and players alike.

I'm a bit late for Halloween, but that won't stop me from donning my 'provocative journalist' costume for one more circuit around the block in search of more goodies. In the spirt of the season I wanted to explore the concepts behind making a true Horror MMO, if such a thing is even possible. Last week I briefly mentioned a few things that could be done to improve immersion and it got me thinking about ways to turn even a multiplayer environment into a playhouse of terror. Tuck in the kids, turn out the lights and ignore the occasional suspicious sounds coming from outside as you read along.

One of the most important elements in any horror game is atmosphere. It's hard to be scared by a movie if the lights are on and some guy is munching on popcorn in your ear. The reason this is hard to achieve in a MMO is simple: Information overload. A typical MMO has hotbars, HP, Mana gauges and floating maps which are generally essential for standard gameplay, but would be completely out of place and ruin the all-important feeling of 'being there' that is a requisite for a Horror game. Well made games in the genre like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame achieve a lot of atmosphere with a minimalist interface that allows you to focus on what your character is seeing.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Launch Moved: A Talk With Mark Jacobs

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today was a day of announcements for Electronic Arts, the game publishing giant that is currently developing Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning at the EA Mythic studios. First, it was announced that the company would be going through re-structuring that would put some jobs and studios at risk. Later, during their earnings call, it was announced that EA Mythic and Warhammer Online would be safe from such changes, and that the release date for the game would be pushed back from Q1 2008 to Q2 2008 to allow for more development and "polish" time.

November the 1st was a big day for EA, the colossal game publisher that currently impacts our little niche of the video game market in EA Mythic (Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot, Warhammer Online) and now with Bioware (their mysterious MMO). As you may or may not be aware, EA held their earnings call today at 5pm EST. Earnings calls are held by publicly traded companies to talk about the company’s earnings, the direction of the company and similar information. It was during this call that a push-back of Warhammer Online’s expected launch date from Q1 of 2008 to Q2 of 2008 was announced and discussed.

Earlier in the day, EA announced that they would be undertaking a re-structuring plan that would see what CEO John Riccitiello described as, “head-count reductions and facility closures”. Roughly translated, this means that EA will be closing some of their studios and laying off some of their employees.

“This was a difficult decision,” he continued in the call, “because it impacts the careers of some very talented people.”

While this may have piqued the interest and curiosity of many in the industry including the folks at EA Mythic, later on in the call, when he was addressing the subject of Warhammer Online, Riccitiello went out of his way to assuage any fears that Mythic may have had on the subject, and to shed some light on the situation:

Read the whole article here.

Warhammer Online : Release Moved Back

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

It was announced today in the EA Earnings Call that Warhammer Online has pushed back its launch date from Q1 2008 to Q2 2008. Mark Jacobs, the VP of EA Mythic, spoke with MMORPG.com and told us that this decision was made in order to deliver a polished product at launch, and does not threaten the game's production.

A complete article concerning this announcement and the conversation with Mark Jacobs will be available at MMORPG.com at midnight server time.

 

Myst Online : Season Finale

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

Gametap, the company responsible for Myst Online: Uru Live, has announced the launch of their game's "season finale".

 

“MYST ONLINE: URU LIVE” SEASON FINALE LAUNCHES TODAY

Finale wraps up a dynamic season of new Ages, puzzles and player-driven plotlines

ATLANTA – November 1, 2007 –GameTap, the first-of-its-kind broadband entertainment network from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), announced that the season finale for its popular multiplayer online game “Myst Online: Uru Live” will launch today.

“Myst Online has been a great addition to our roster of GameTap Original titles,” said Ricardo Sanchez, GameTap’s vice president of content and creative director. “With our recent change to make content updates occur on a regular schedule, Myst Online is another example of how the episodic format can be effective across different styles of play.”

This season started in February and has already introduced multiple Ages, puzzles and dynamic characters that have drawn players into the ever-changing world of Uru. For the first time ever in a video game, the choices, actions, and experiences of the players themselves have helped drive the ongoing live storyline, which has expanded throughout the season.

“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to launch ‘Myst Online: Uru Live’ with GameTap,” says Rand Miller, CEO of Cyan Worlds and co-creator of Myst. “Being able to bring this dynamic world to the fans of the franchise and a brand new audience of explorers has been a great experience.”

Over the past several months, the great underground cavern of D'ni has been home to many ups and downs. Numerous new areas of the cavern have been restored, granting Explorers access to amazing new worlds and places. However, the road has not been easy for the D’ni Restoration Council (DRC) as they’ve had to overcome tragedies and adversities ranging from petty in-fighting to horrific, unexplained deaths.

Now the DRC must deal with the emergence of the Bahro creatures and the questions that have come with them. Each Council member has his own opinions on what will happen next. Will the Bahro War bring destruction to the cavern? Will the DRC find funding for further restoration work? There has been great progress. There have been setbacks. Still, the future remains as cloudy as ever.

In the season finale, Explorers will be able to explore new areas of Uru, including the new Age of Ahnonay, K’veer Island and Myst Island. In Ahnonay, an Age of deception, mystery and visual wonders spanning thousands of years, players will witness the deterioration of a rugged landscape as they travel through time to uncover the truth. It will require cooperation, investigation, a keen eye, and the comprehension of a subtle and clever ruse.

“Myst Online: Uru Live” includes elements unique to the Myst franchise, including the use of books as teleportation devices, exploration through wondrous, immersive worlds, and mind-challenging puzzles that can be solved alone or with a group. Myst Online also includes all of the key social features such as text and voice chat that make today’s massively multiplayer online games so popular.

New players interested in playing Myst Online can join the adventure now and play for free by visiting www.mystonline.com. The website also offers ways for players to catch up on the currently storylines and to receive a variety of hints and tips.

“Myst Online: Uru Live” was created exclusively for GameTap and is available to GameTap subscribers in the United States and Canada. The game is also available via direct download to consumers in select countries around the world. Expanding beyond computer borders as well, “Myst Online: Uru Live” was launched for Mac users last Spring.

GameTap continues to offer the most video games on-demand in the industry with more than 950 classic and current console, arcade, PC and original titles. Gold level plans are currently available for as low as $5.00 per month and new subscribers can get their first month for only 99 cents. Sign up today at www.gametap.com.

 

More on Myst Online here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Chapter 7 Info

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

SOE has released information on Chapter 7: A collection of Heroes, an update coming for the MMO this month.

STAR WARS GALAXIES(TM) DELIVERS NEW FEATURES, CONTENT AND CHALLENGES THIS MONTH IN CHAPTER 7: A COLLECTION OF HEROES

New Heroic Encounters, High-Level Gameplay Areas and an All-New Collection and Rewards System Now Available for Star Wars Galaxies Subscribers

LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment today announced the release of Chapter 7: A Collection of Heroes to Star Wars Galaxies subscribers. Featuring an abundance of new content, quest systems and game-play enhancements, particularly for high-level players, Chapter 7 is the most feature-packed update ever released to Star Wars Galaxies subscribers as part of their regular subscription to the game. In addition, Star Wars Galaxies kicks off a community-wide challenge in-game this month, tied to the exciting new adventure content found in Chapter 7.

"The amazing amount of quest content we've been able to deliver in Chapter 7: A Collection of Heroes, and in the other updates we've delivered in 2007, is really remarkable,” said John Blakely, vice president of development for Sony Online Entertainment. "So far this year, we've delivered nine new profession-based skill systems, new Rebel and Imperial content mission hubs, a new storyteller system for our role-players, new quest chains, and one of the most advanced pet systems found in an online game. Now, with the additional new features included in Chapter 7, we're incredibly proud of the increase in new game-play as well as the overall state of the game, and are looking forward to delivering even more content by year's end.”

"In 2007 we saw a huge number of new and former players re-joining the Star Wars Galaxies community, and we attribute that directly to the high-quality features and content we've added to the game over the past two years,” said Tom Nichols, senior director of online for LucasArts. "We look forward to continuing our work with Sony Online Entertainment to deliver even more content next year, based directly on what players have requested: additional heroic encounters, space-based content, and profession enhancements.”

Chapter 7: A Collection of Heroes continues the Star Wars Galaxies saga through a series of high-level heroic encounters and story-based gameplay areas. In addition, the premiere of a collection system gives players of all levels new ways to interact with the Star Wars Galaxies universe while amassing rich rewards and rare collectible items.

Chapter 7: A Collection of Heroes includes the following features and content:

Three all-new heroic encounters designed to challenge even the most battle-hardened combatants:

  • A volatile, four-phased encounter on the planet Lok, where players must discover who or what is responsible for increasingly frequent and deadly droid attacks. Waves of explosive droids, droidekas, and super battle droids will only soften up players as they progress to the final encounter with the iconic IG-88.
  • Nightsister rangers, protectors and spell-weavers have been entombed for crimes against their own in the Chamber of Banishment on Dathomir, but some have not yet learned their lesson. A high-ranking Nightsister is now recruiting brave players to free several of her imprisoned sisters, including the terrible Axkva Min the Devourer.
  • Players must work with defenders of the city of Mos Espa to establish fortifications and a defense perimeter against a massive Tusken army invasion. Waves of Tusken Raiders, snipers, warriors, flesh hunters, blood champions and elite guards are only a prequel to the mighty wrath of the Tusken King.

 

Players who live to tell the tale of these heroic encounters will be richly rewarded with rare items, badges, and sets of combat-class specific jewelry. More information on the three new heroic encounters can be found here.

A flourishing gameplay hub where high-level players can join together to take on adventures and collect rewards: The former village of Aurilia has finally shed the stain of its former Dark Jedi masters and has emerged as a prospering township. Known for their discretion, residents of Aurilia serve as vendors of both information and high-level items. Players wishing to venture through the new heroic encounters will find that they first need to meet a few prerequisites set by the residents of Aurilia. More information on Aurilia can be found here.

A new collection system that provides players of all levels rich new rewards for playing the game: The Star Wars Galaxies universe is filled with millions of things to do, see and interact with, and now players will be richly rewarded for doing just that. Chapter 7 will deliver a new collection book interface that allows players to keep track of all they have done in the game. For every collection series they complete, players will receive high-value items including weapons, armor, home décor, and even skill bonuses.

There are thousands of things for players to collect in the galaxy, including interactive objects in the game world, loot from combat victories, and items that are created using schematics. In addition, players can collect badges that they earn through completing dangerous encounters, participating in events, mastering a profession, participating in PvP, and achieving veteran status, among other activities. More information on the new collection system can be found here.

A collection challenge open to all galactic residents:

As part of the new collection system, Star Wars Galaxies is recognizing and rewarding the first players to complete each of the dozens of new collections in-game. The first player on each server who completes a collection will be recognized on the Star Wars Galaxies community website and will also receive a special badge in game. In addition, other players on the server will see the winning player's name when they open their collection system user interface and mouse-over the appropriate collection, forever distinguishing that player in the Star Wars Galaxies community.

In-game reward from C-3PO himself:

C-3PO is in desperate need of assistance! Players who log in to the game after Chapter 7 goes live, and before Chapter 8 is released, are eligible to automatically receive a comlink* that will provide direct communication to the iconic protocol droid for an important assignment. C-3PO will provide the player information about a special collection-based mission for the player that will end with a unique reward.

Anyone wishing to try Star Wars Galaxies, including the new content in Chapter 7: A Collection of Heroes, can do so at no charge for up to two full weeks through the Star Wars Galaxies 14-Day Trial. This trial includes all the content of the base game, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided and its first expansion, Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed. Available by download from www.StarWarsGalaxies.com, the 14-day trial gives players a chance to meet and fight with or against their favorite Star Wars characters as they explore this massive online universe filled with other Star Wars fans.

Read more on SWG here.

Zu Online : Bosses

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

The folks over at ZU Online have updated their webpage with descriptions of some of the bosses in their MMORPG.

Since ancient times, good and evil have been fighting each other relentlessly. All Players know that Evil Bosses are an indispensable part of any online game. Not only can players get awesome equipments from them, but defeating these awesome creatures demonstrates their heroism. I'm sure that by now you must be curious about the Bosses in Zu Mountain. How do they appear? What are they like? How will they challenge you?

More on ZU Online here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Server Maint. and Update

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

Currently, all US and European servers of SOE's Star Wars Galaxies are down for some maintenance and to bring in a live update.

On Thursday, November 1 at 8:00 AM PDT, all U.S. and European galaxies will be taken down for server maintenance and a live update.

When the update is complete, all galaxies will be live but unavailable while we complete final testing. All galaxies will be made available after that time.

8:00 AM PDT (Los Angeles) / 10:00 AM CDT (Austin) / 11:00 AM EDT (New York)
3:00 PM GMT (London) / 4:00 PM CET (Berlin)
Click here for a Time Zone Calculator.

Click here to read the Publish Notes.

More on SWG here.

EVE Online : Fanfest Opens

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today Crowd Control productions, better known as CCP, kicked off their annual Fanfest celebrations in Iceland. News Manager Keith Cross is attending and will be reporting back from the event. Fanfest runs from Nov1st - Nov 3rd.

A Party Like No Other… Join us at the top of the world for the ultimate party: the 2007 Fanfest, held in our hometown of Reykjavik, Iceland. This is the best experience of EVE Online: your chance to meet the people behind the avatars in person, including friends and foes alike from the battlefield, plus the CCP Devs. Catch an inside glimpse of what's in store for EVE; participate in live PVP and CCG tournaments versus other pilots; and, if you dare, venture out into the world-renown Reykjavik nightlife afterwards!

This year's Fanfest will be held at the epic Laugardalshöll in the Laugardalur Valley section of Reykjavik, Iceland. A list of Icelandair world destinations and Fanfest packages can be found here.

Fanfest is a celebration of EVE for players from all over the world who love the game enough to travel to an absolutely beautiful, wondrous place to meet others who share their passion. International friendships and rivalries alike have been forged because of EVE Online; this is a chance to meet those who have contributed to your gaming experience in person. In addition, the CCP Devs will be mingling with the crowd, ready to discuss anything about the game you like.

More on Fanfest here.

Spellborn : Dev Journal: Combat Balance

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

Spellborn has released a new developer journal that talks about balance for combat in the upcoming MMORPG.

In today's Gamedesign Journal our developers talk about the most important art of balancing.

"This all sounds pretty ‘easy’ and ‘plug and play’, but it’s a real tough nut to crack. Having relations between certain factors is fine, but you don’t want to end up in a straight jacket, where each change will alter so many other things, that the end result is nearly the same for the player, but simply with different numbers. Adding the right strings to the model and then pulling them the correct way is a delicate, complicated and thus time consuming task."

Enjoy and do not forget to post your comments in the thread linked bellow!

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Ent Sighting

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

Lord of the Rings Online's official webpage announced today that they had updated their lorebook with information about where players can get their first look at an Ent, the Tolkien tree-creatuires.

In the woods beside Lake Evendim can be found a tranquil and ancient grove called the Eavespires. It is said that long ago an Ent, one of the mighty tree-herders of Fangorn, came here in search of something his people had lost. It may be that he dwells there yet, for an Age is but a short time to that most ancient of peoples, and the Eavespires has been a vale of peace for a very long time.

With the recent arrival of the Gauredain and giants out of the North, violence and ruin have left their mark upon the Eavespires, and it may yet be that a sleeping rage will be awakened amongst the trees. Elves have visited the grove, seeking escape from the wars of the world, but war may still find them even here, far from the shadow of Mordor.

In developing the Evendim region, the designers at Turbine drew upon Treebeard’s tale of the Ents going abroad in search of the Entwives from The Lord of the Rings to create the Eavespires. Players wanting their first glimpse of a true Ent will wish to visit the forests of Evendim, though it will be a difficult task: Gauredain and giants are not the only threats to the Eavespires . . . wood-trolls have made their way into those lands as well.

Closing Read more here.

Zu Online : 10 Exclusive Screens!

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

The folks over at ZU Online have sent over ten new screenshots for our viewing pleasure. ZU Online, which is currently in the Alppha stages of development, has a very unique look when it comes to MMOs.

Check out all 10 here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Developer Profile Q&A: Jess Lebow

Posted Nov 01, 2007 by Jon Wood

Jess Lebow, the Content Director for Flying Lab Software's upcoming MMORPG, Pirates of the Burning Sea, takes some time to answer Jon Wood's questions about himself and the game that he has been working on.

MMORPG.com:

How does one become a Content Director? How did you end up doing what you're doing?

Jess Lebow:

I ask myself that question at least once a week, and I'm not sure there's a standard career path. I took a very circuitous route to get here to be honest. I started out with big dreams of becoming a famous writer and ended up with a creative writing degree when I came out of college. After several years selling beer for a living (which was neither famous, nor did it have anything to do with writing), I finally got my break at a publishing house where I edited the Magic: The Gathering novel line. From there I started writing again. One of my first books caught the attention of the folks at ArenaNet, and I eventually landed a job as the World Designer for Guild Wars. After writing two fantasy games and five fantasy novels, I decided I needed a change of genre, which landed me here at Flying Lab where I took over the reigns of the content team from a fellow writer, John Tynes. That's probably a longer answer than you were looking for, but you asked ;)

Read the whole interview here.

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