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Atlantica Online : New Servers On The Way

Posted Nov 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

NDOORS Interactive has announced that they will be adding new servers starting this weekend because of an unexpected surge in players since the game launched.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Nov. 6, 2008 -- The official launch of Atlantica Online is exceeding expectations.

The strategic turn-based MMORPG, which sends players on a globe-hopping adventure around the Earth, has seen tremendous growth since its debut with the number of daily unique players doubling. The average number of concurrent players has increased by 300 percent since introduction and has filled servers to capacity. NDOORS Interactive will be opening new servers beginning Saturday, Nov. 8.

“The response for Atlantica has been nothing short of amazing,” said Peter Kang, CEO, NDOORS Interactive. “We understand that the foundation and lifeblood of every MMO is its community, and we can’t thank our players enough.”

NDOORS is currently running a promotion that gives players multiple chances to win thousands in cash and prizes by participating in the game’s PvP area called the Free Leagues. NDOORS is also hosting a satisfaction guarantee program. NDOORS will give $20 to qualified players who decide they don’t want to continue with the game. Players have until Nov. 30 to win any of the bonuses or apply for the satisfaction guarantee program.

Atlantica Online is set on Earth, in a parallel reality that takes players through a fantastic journey to discover the lost secrets of Atlantis. With its heavy emphasis on strategy, Atlantica was designed to stand out amongst the ‘cookie-cutter’ MMOs. The strategic gameplay incorporated into the turn-based combat, mercenary and country management systems will appeal to strategy and RPG players.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Changes for Aussie Pirates

Posted Nov 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

Flying Lab has posted their plans for Pirates of the Burning Sea in Australia, as they will be ending their relationship with Bigpond and closing down the Invincible server. To accommodate players, they'll be opening a new server with port battles scheduled for peak Australian usage, and offering server transfers.

Our strategy overseas is to work with enthusiastic partners who are knowledgeable about their market and committed to the game and its community. However, launching and supporting an MMO is a very different beast than a single player game, and some companies underestimate the kind of engagement they have to have with the players. Regardless, we want to make sure that everyone who plays Pirates has a great experience, and will do whatever it takes to deliver that.

Today I sent out notice to Bigpond that we will not be renewing our partnership with them. I enjoyed meeting and working with the people of Bigpond, and I wish them and the company well in all its future endeavors.

So what does that mean for the players of Invincible? We will continue to deliver new builds to Bigpond for deployment to Invincible until the beginning of January. At that point, Invincible will be turned off. In the meantime, we will shortly be providing transfers for all players who choose to move over to any of our other servers.

Since we’ve moved port battle times to center around the highest concurrency of individual servers, there is no server that’s currently set up to serve Australias needs. To that end, we’re going to be opening a new server, Defiant, which will have port battle times appropriate for the Australian players (9p to 5a Pacific, or 5a to 1p GMT).

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Tabula Rasa 101

Posted Nov 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Tabula Rasa will be holding a Q&A session, called Tabula Rasa 101, which will answer basic and commonly asked questions about TR.

It’s that time again!

Attention, Soldiers (especially you Recruits!): Next week I will be hosting Tabula Rasa 101, a Q&A session for new recruits that will address some of the basic mechanics of the game and commonly asked questions in Tabula Rasa. No need to sign up, just meet at Alia Das in Wilderness(1) at the following times for your server. Make sure to bring your questions!

Read more here.

The Agency : Agency Intern Interview, Part Two

Posted Nov 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

When she originally won an internship at SOE's The Agency through the Gamers in Real Life program, Julia Brasil had no idea that MMORPG.com would be tracking her progress, but that's exactly what our own Carolyn Koh is doing, checking in with the new developer on a bi-weekly basis. Today is part two.

Julia Brasil has had four weeks under her belt as a Design Intern at Sony Online Entertainment, working in their Seattle studio on The Agency. MMORPG.com catches up with her to see what she’s learned and what she’s done on the game.

“I’m still working on the same Night Club, Metamorphoza” said Julia. “I’ve learned a lot about using the Unreal Engine and find now that I am able to do everything I did in the first week much faster. It’s basically revising my initial work at this point in time.”

Read the Agency Intern Interview.

Lord of the Rings Online : A Look at Kinships

Posted Nov 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

MMORPG.com Lord of the Rings Online Correspondent Allie Springett writes this look at the kinship feature in Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online.

What is a kinship?

Kinships are essentially a group of players, possibly with a common interest, that join together to achieve mutual benefit. These will be discussed in more detail below. Kinships can range in number of players from a minimum of six to one thousand five hundred, depending on its lifespan rank. The lifespan rank is simply a measure of how long the kinship has been in existence, with different bonuses available dependant on rank. For example, a rank four kinship has a chat channel for officers only and a rank seven kinship as the option to purchase a kinship house.

Take a Look at Kinships.

Warhammer Online : Test Server Instructions

Posted Nov 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Warhammer Online have posted detailed instructions for players wishing to access and copy characters to the test server.

The Public Test Server is coming soon, so in the meantime we wanted to provide you with instructions on how you can get onto the server as well as how to copy your characters and jump right into testing.

The purpose of the Public Test Server (PTS) is for the players to help us refine and test the latest version of the game by experiencing the changes firsthand and providing feedback and bug reports to Mythic. As such, we want to remind you that the content introduced to this server is still considered “in development,” and that bugs and issues not found on the LIVE server may occur on the PTS. All features and fixes listed below are subject to change until we release Game Update 1.0.5 to all live servers.

When leaving Feedback or Bug Reports we encourage you to provide details on why you feel the way you do or why you think something needs to be fixed. It's also important to note that when you submit a Bug Report, it automatically records your location in game so be sure to submit them at the location where you experienced them when you can!

Read more here.

EverQuest II : 4th Birthday Celebrations

Posted Nov 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at EverQuest II are preparing to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the game's launch, and they plan to hold a series of celebrations on each of the game's servers starting next week.

It's EverQuest II's 4th Birthday and you're invited to a party! Don your most festive attire and commemorate the event with us in the Community Lounge, where you can share celebratory food and drink, enjoy the confetti machine, dance along with the maestro, and even have a pillow fight. Plus, you never know who might pop in to join in the fun!

Kiara, Amnerys and Grimwell from SOE's Community Relations team will be hosting these special events according to the schedule below. Just see what date and time they'll be on your server, look out for one of them to log in, then send them a /tell saying, "I want to party!" and you'll be summoned to the celebration.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Fanfest: Walking In Stations

Posted Nov 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

MMORPG.com is at this year's EVE FanFest and yesterday the kind folks at CCP gave us a presentation on the highly anticipated upcoming Walking In Stations feature, releasing some information that we knew, and even some that we didn't.

Yesterday at EVE FanFest, members of the press were given a presentation on the upcoming "Walking in Stations" feature for EVE Online that will see players of the sci-fi sandbox game able to step out of their ships for the first time to interact, do business and socialize in a more conventional way, through their 3D avatars.

While we still do not have a definitive launch date for the feature, we have seen progress made even since we last spoke to the folks at CCP about it at this year's Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany and progress is moving forward.

When the game was first conceptualized in 1999, the small team's goal had been to create an online environment that would allow players to take part in an experience that was reminiscent of a classic sci-fi movie. Technology at the time being what it was and the team being as small in size as it was then, the early developers had to settle for the original ships-only design.

Read more Walking in Stations with EVE Online.

DOFUS : Win an iPod Nano 8GB & More!

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com and Ankama have teamed up to bring you an exciting new contest! From November 5, 2008 to December 5, 2008 @ 9PM EST we will be accepting entries into a random drawing where we will give away 40 prizes including a 8GB iPod Nano, 4 Dofus Artbooks, 5 plush toys,20 Dofus mousepads and 10 one-month subcriptions to Dofus!

To enter for a chance at these prizes just click the link below:

Click To Enter Dofus iPod Nano Contest!

As with all MMORPG.com contests, the more days you login during the contest span - the better your odds of winning! (see official contest rules for details)

Warhammer Online : Dwarf Engineer Overview

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

MMORPG.com Warhammer Online Correspondent Patrick Buckley writes this overview of the Dwarf Engineer career in Mythic Entertainment's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

The Dwarven Engineer is a versatile combatant. His techniques center around doing damage to multiple enemies with an effect that also damages over time. This is only the basic path of the engineer, but it can be specialized into three different, more precise paths upon reaching level eleven. At this point, a Dwarven Engineer has the opportunity to choose one of three paths to devote himself to. Or, he can mix it up and have limited mastery in all three paths. No matter which path is chosen, an engineer can choose to charge into battle with his wrench by his side, or stand behind the meat shields, lobbing deadly bullets and grenades into throngs of unsuspecting enemies.

What I have for you is a guide on building your Dwarven Engineer through all three of his chosen masteries: The Rifleman, the Grenadier, and the Tinkerer. Each one of these paths will also include some suggestions for levelling renown skills to improve your effectiveness as an engineer.

Follow the link to read the Dwarf Engineer Overview.

Angels Online : Lost Atlantis Expansion Interview

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

MMORPG.com's Joe Iuliani had the opportunity to speak recently with Eric Lin, the Project Manager for IGG's Angels Online about the Lost Atlantis expansion for that game.

MMORPG.com: Why the decision to use Atlantis as a vehicle for the expansion?

Angels Online: It’s well known that Angels Online (http://ao.igg.com) is a cute MMORPG. From the very beginning until the last version “Eden”, the game style and the graphics were always popular with players.

When we began to design a new expansion, we paid attention to the ocean scenes because Angels Online (http://ao.igg.com) hasn’t had anything like that before. With the blue cartoon style, the new expansion has been developed around an underwater world. It has lots of unique new characteristics while also following the former versions as well.

The background story is designed around the lost kingdom of Atlantis and it perfectly matches the new expansion’s features. Now I’d like to say a little more about this mysterious story.

Read the Angels Online Interview.

StarQuest Online : A Look at StarQuest Online

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

MMORPG.com StarQuest Online Correspondent Allen Richardson writes this introduction to the space-based MMORPG, StarQuest Online.

For the most part, space has been a hard setting to use for a MMO. You have futuristic MMOs like EVE, where your character is a ship. You don't really have an avatar. You have futuristic MMOs like Anarchy Online, where you are a character, but you are planet-bound. There seems to be very few happy mediums where both space side and planet side are wired seamlessly together, where you can be a character on both the planet, and the ship. There are many reasons why, the biggest being the engine coding problems. Star Trek Online promises such a medium, but only to a certain extent, you are only portrayed as a character on your ship when in a boarding party battle sequence.

I really never paid much attention to StarQuest. It has been listed on MMORPG.com for a long time, but there never seemed to be any activity or news about it. The graphics are sub-par when compared with game like WAR or EVE. SQO uses DX8 graphics engine. The sound isn't exactly the crispest in the world, but I understand that a couple very resent patches upgraded the sound quite a bit. The community of StarQuest is small, but highly active. Some areas of character animations, like running, seem a bit girlish. This game definitely wasn't built to be a eye popping piece of graphical candy. Neither does it cater very well to the casual gamer. It is made entirely for those who want the most from their roleplay experience. When I finally went and tried the game out. Here is what I found.

Read the StarQuest Online Feature.

Runes of Magic : Successful Stress Test

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Runes of Magic have announced that the game ran well and without incident during the latest round of server stress testing. They go on to inform players of future plans for testing, with the open beta starting in December and the last character wipe occurring shortly before hand.

The Runes of Magic test servers have worked flawlessly during the stress test at the end of the closed beta phase 2. In spite of up to 1,600 players in the starting town called "Pioneers Colony", the beta servers experienced no problems. Neither processor nor RAM were close to being used to capacity, so Runes of Magic should theoretically be able to accommodate more than 3,000 players in one zone. Even with the Halloween event on Saturday and despite reduced hardware, the server didn’t get any problems. Around 1,000 players participated in this first big in-game event in the free game world. Frogster thanked their beta testers explicitly for their disciplined help in a letter to the community, which you can find in our beta forum.

Thanks to the stable network code of developer Runewaker, the current server configuration can handle far more players than expected. Because of this, nothing technically will stand in the way of the planned large scale PVP and guild battles, in-game events and server-vs. server-vs.-server-wars with the participation of three server communities. After the successful stress test, Frogster started with the closed beta phase 3 on Nov. 3rd according to schedule. To allow for a test of the remaining untested regions, the publisher has mirrored the server with the most characters to a new beta server. MMO fans can continue to apply for the beta test on www.runesofmagic.com. The open beta for Runes of Magic will start in the course of December.

At the moment, the Berlin based publisher plans only one last character wipe. This wipe will be implemented close to the start of the open beta, so that all players will start on equal terms. All interested players can start to level their characters during the open beta and take them over into the release version. At the moment, the Runes of Magic team is working on a comprehensive localization of the game, because the developer Runewaker has doubled the quest content to more than 1,000 quests at the start of the game.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Making Monsters

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

Turbine has published a new dev diary which delves into the process of creating new monsters for Lord of the Rings Online: The Mines of Moria.

Q: Who are you and what are you doin’ here!?

A: Hey there, I’m Tim “Raskolnikov” Lang (but the Content team calls me “Man-Bat” for some reason).

I’m a relatively new member of the Systems team, having moved over from the QA team in November of last year. When I first arrived I was immediately thrown into the Forochel (Book 13) monsters: “Hey Tim, welcome aboard… you like monsters, right?” ‘Well, actually I…’ “That’s great because you get to make a bunch of new behaviors for the Sabretooth and Gauradan Mammoth.” ‘Okay, so how do…’ “Oh, and one of the FX guys mentioned something about a Grim… anyway, good luck!” (Note: It didn’t really happen like this).

So, the short of it is that I work on monsters, which makes me a sort of behind-the-scenes guy. I don’t get all the girls like the Legendary Item guys, but on the flip side I also don’t get egged like the class guys when they “balance” your favorite class. For this Dev Diary I’ll walk you through the broad process of how a monster comes together, what components of a monster I work on and how they are created, and our broad goals for the monsters in Mines of Moria™. Finally, I’ll give you a brief preview of some of the monsters I’m more proud of (they’re like my very own hideous babies).

Read more here.

Zu Online : Version 1.8.01 Patch Notes

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Zu Online have posted the patch notes for version 1.8.01 of the game, which adds new zones, new instances, an increased level cap, and more.

A new level cap, new zones, new instanced zones, new gameplay and much, much more. These are just a few of the new things that can be found in the upcoming version of Zu Online - version 1.8.01. Zu Online version 1.8.01 will be released in November. We have improved some of the current game features, fixed some bugs and also added some new game features based on players' suggestions. Now, the Zu team will be revealing some of the update notes for version 1.8.01 in advance of its release.

New features and modifications:

New level cap--259.
New zone--Wei-Yang Palace.
New zone-- Frozen Sea.
New instanced zone - Boundary Hill.
Star level indicators have been added to equipment to show its quality.
Pet combination system has been added.
Salary system has been added.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Update 1.0.5 on Public Test Server

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning have announced that Game Update 1.0.5, the largest update for the game thus far, is now on the public test server.

Game Update 1.0.5 is coming and so begins our call to arms!

All currently subscribed players will have the opportunity to experience and test everything that 1.0.5 has to offer, and most importantly provide us with their feedback and bug reports to make patch day even smoother when 1.0.5 arrives on live servers.
In order to make testing even easier and better, and so that you can see how the changes impact you directly, all players will be able to copy their existing characters on the Live Servers to the Public Test Server.

This game update is the biggest yet, and is the first time we've made significant changes to careers. We've listened to your feedback and can't wait for you to see the changes we've made. This is just the first step as we get ready for the upcoming Patch 1.1.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Special Mount Update

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has updated the World of Warcraft special mount page with new mounts, including recent additions to the game and other mounts which will be available when Wrath of the Lich King launches.

Our Special Mounts page has been updated with new mounts, some of which are currently in the game and some that will be available in Wrath of the Lich King. As always, if you'd like to contribute to our galleries, please submit your screenshots.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : The Art of Middle-earth

Posted Nov 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

Turbine has published a new developer diary which looks into the art direction of Lord of the Rings Online: The Mines of Moria.

A good artist knows when to paint what they want, and when to do what the painting wants: when you do one thing, it often will tell you the next thing you need to do. So it has gone with creating Middle-earth for The Lord of the Rings Online™. The Shire informed how we designed Bree-land, the decisions we made in Ered Luin and the Misty Mountains directly influenced how we approached Forochel, and so on. No design takes place in a vacuum, as everything connects to everything else. It is staying true to what we have done before that helps us add to the world in a believable manner.

Thus Middle-earth has grown. Our Epic Story has finally brought us to Eregion and the Hollin Gate, to the entrance of the greatest “dungeon” ever imagined: the Dwarrowdelf, Khazad-Dûm, Moria. Greatest work of the Dwarves, this once magnificent city is now in ruins, overrun by Orcs and the evils released by “delving too deep.” Nothing that we have developed to date had begun to scratch at what we wanted Moria to be: the greatest dungeon adventure you have ever seen and played.

Read more here.

Hellgate : Hellgate Re-Launch?

Posted Nov 05, 2008 by Keith Cross

Gamasutra is reporting that HanbitSoft, the company which operates Hellgate in Korea has acquired the rights to th game in other regions and may be planning to re-launch the game.

Korean publisher and developer HanbitSoft has officially announced that it owns the IPs for Flagship Studios' Hellgate: London and Mythos and is actively working on a Hellgate expansion, despite the scheduled termination of Hellgate's servers by operator Namco Bandai.

Hellgate generally suffered from perceived quality issues and struggled to maintain a sufficient fanbase to continue operating, leading to Flagship's essential closing in July 2008.

Namco Bandai, who co-published the game through an agreement with EA Partners, recently announced that it would shut down its Hellgate servers on January 31, 2009. Flagship also shut down its servers for MMORPG Mythos earlier in the year, suspending the title's development while it was in its private beta testing stage.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Hotfixes

Posted Nov 05, 2008 by Keith Cross

Mythic entertainment has posted another round of fixes for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

Capital Cities

* The entrance requirements to the officer rooms in both guild taverns have been adjusted. You must now be an officer or the leader of a rank 16 guild or higher to enter.

Combat and Careers

Bright Wizard

* Scintillating Energy: Fixed an issue that was causing the stun component of this ability not to function.

Content

* Chests located in Dark Elf chapter 14 will no longer try to attack players.
* Silversong Bladesingers: These NPCs were not intended to drop any coin or loot items, but were doing so anyway. This issue has been fixed.
* The warcamp guards at Kargrund’s Stand have been adjusted to be the desired difficulty level.

Items

* Might: This Engineer epic quest reward item has been fixed to have the appropriate stat bonuses.
* Bonus effects granted by certain weapons will no longer persist after the weapon is removed, or stack when zoning.

Read more here.