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Jade Dynasty : Sneak Peek at the Balo Faction

Posted Nov 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

The developers of Jade Dynasty have released this new developer journal detailing the Balo, one of the two factions for the new Athan race being introduced in the game's most recent expansion, Ascension.

It's Dvorak here, Community Manager for the martial arts MMORPG, Jade Dynasty. If you haven't heard of Jade Dynasty yet, first of all, welcome back to civilization! There's a lot of catching up to do--for more information on features as well as for exclusive codes to unlock goodies in our upcoming expansion, Ascension, you can follow Jade Dynasty on Facebook or hit me up on Twitter.

One of the most exciting new additions of the upcoming expansion is the new race called the Athan. Within this demigod race, there are two Factions, the first of which is the Balo. These hardened warriors come at a time when many in the mortal realm are looking to seize power and the secret to immortality. To combat this problem, the Immortals have created the Balo: indispensable frontline fighters that were formed to represent pure brute strength and were inspired by the invulnerability of molten rock.

Read Sneak Peek at the Balo Faction.

Aion : Mid-Deck Steel Rake Instance

Posted Nov 12, 2009 by Jon Wood Aion Correspondent Robert Duckworth writes this look at the Mid-deck Steel Rake instance that takes place on, well, the middle deck of a ship flying through the air.

There is an enormous gardening tool soaring around somewhere in the skies of Atreia, the Steel Rake. Okay, it's not really a rake in the usual sense; it's actually a pirate ship of swashbuckling shulacks that sail the seven skies. Once aboard the wooden behemoth, you will find an instance divided into three decks, with each one practically a full length dungeon in and of itself, making it one of the largest in the game.

Before you can board the ship, you must first do its atunement quest. Unlike the dreadfully annoying one for Fire Temple, the Steel Rake quest can easily be soloed. That's not to say it too isn't dreadfully annoying if you're down on your luck. After you accept the quest from Ebs in Beluslan Fortress, which is available at level 40, you must travel south and track down a wandering Shugo by the name Uikinerk. This slippery little guy travels across Beluslan so he'll take some effort to track down. Chances are you'll see him plenty of times leveling, but once you're 40 and need to find him for the quest, he'll be nowhere to be seen--which seems to be the MMO norm.

Read Mid-Deck Steel Rake Instance.

Alganon : Open Beta Key Giveaway

Posted Nov 11, 2009 by Craig McGregor has 10,000 Alganon beta keys to give away! Get your key now and get into the beta test for this highly anticipated fantsy MMORPG brought to you by Quest Online!


General : Jennings: The Truth Behind Bugs

Posted Nov 11, 2009 by Jon Wood

Scott Jennings is the latest addition to our all-star columnist roster. This veteran game designer has worked for Mythic, NCsoft and others. He also pioneered video game blogging with his infamous Lum the Mad website.

Every Wednesday, Scott will go "inside the sausage factory" to give us a behind the scenes look at how MMO companies really work. Today, he focuses his column this week on the actual process behind bug in MMORPGs, having experience with the issue both as a player and as a developer.

Scott Jennings

“Why doesn’t someone just fix these bugs already?”

This is a common complaint of anyone who plays MMORPGs Every game has bugs, great and small – the better ones only have ones that inconvenience you or perhaps block you from completing a quest unless you wait in line for a GM to fix it manually. The worse ones prevent you from playing the game entirely – anywhere from servers going offline and staying there to the client simply “crashing to desktop” and refusing to run at all. Probably the worst MMORPG bug in my memory was when during Anarchy Online’s beta, a patch actually wrecked the operating system. Crashing your own game is bad enough but when you trash Windows on the way out the door, there's some issues.

Read Jennings: The Truth Behind Bugs.

Blitz1941 : Now Live!

Posted Nov 11, 2009 by Michael Bitton

eFusion MMOG's Blitz1941 has gone live today following a successful open beta test! And what game launch isn't complete without a launch day patch? Blitz1941's launch day version update enables all the game's maps, balances tanks, and contains a number of UI changes to improve usability.

To celebrate the opening of the game, all players will receive double XP until November 16th, 2009, and all players who play until November 23rd, 2009 will be entered in a lottery for the game's "premium items".

For more information on Blitz1941 visit the game's official site here.

Conquer Online : Classic Server Launches Nov. 18th

Posted Nov 11, 2009 by Michael Bitton

TQ Digital will be launching a classic server for Conquer Online on November 18th, 2009. The new server, dubbed "Liberty", aims to be a home for players who feel nostalgic for the good ol' days of Conquer Online.

The Liberty server will feature the updated features and graphics of the 2.0 version of Conquer Online, but with a few changes to achieve that "classic" experience. Details below:

  • No Shopping Mall
  • No Battle Power System
  • No DB Leveling
  • No DB Socketing for "non-weapon" gear or the 2nd socket for weapons
  • No Talismans
  • Toxic Fog is removed from the Ninja skills
  • Gems drop rate from monsters increased
  • PK is allowed in Twin City.
  • Equipment Bonus Quests are removed.

The Mentor, Nobility, and Clan systems will be relegated to being "cosmetic features", while "Battle Power" will be done away completely.  However, the classic server will support the upcoming Martial Arsenal and Arena features of the next update to the game.

TQ Digital is also considering opening a European classic server to be dubbed "Royalty", but that will all depend on how the community responds to the launch of Liberty on November 18th.

For the original announcement go here.

World of Warcraft : Top 5 Things Coming In WoW Patch 3.3

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Dana Massey

Garrett Fuller looks at the top five things players should be drooling about in Patch 3.3 to Blizzard's World of Warcraft.

One of the biggest improvements in Wrath of the Lich King was more involved storytelling, specifically through the Lich King. He kept popping up in different quests and scenes causing trouble and giving you his minions to fight. Now it is time for sweet revenge.

With Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, the Lich King became an iconic character in the game universe. Now Arthas will face millions of players worldwide as they try to bring him down. Having the ability to face him in scaled ten-man or twenty-five-man raids will make the experience fun and exciting. It will also bring some closure to the threads they’ve laid for months.

Read it all here.

Global Agenda : To Use Vivox Voice, Dev Chat Next Week

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Vivox has partnered with Hi-Rez Studios to make use of Vivox voice chat in the upcoming "spy-fi" MMOG, Global Agenda, which is set to release in early 2010.

Details below:

Players inside the virtual world of Global Agenda will be able to use features such as in-game voice chat to communicate with teammates during play and enjoy in-game news broadcasts describing key victories and events associated with Global Agenda's persistent territory control gameplay. In addition, monthly subscribers to the game will be able to use out-of-game player voice chat to talk with other Global Agenda players while playing other games or simply browsing the web. Players can use a variety of access methods including the Vivox Web Voice within the toolbar controls, Vivox Voice on Facebook, or calling into a specified chat channel from their phone.

To discuss the announcement players are being invited to a unique dev chat making use of the Vivox voice Facebook chat application on Facebook next Wednesday, November 18th, at 10PM EST, with more details available below:

Details for the Hi-Rez Studios dev chat in Facebook
Date: Wednesday, November 18th
Time: 10:00pmEST/7:00pmPST
Instructions: To participate, download the Vivox Voice app at then join us at
Not near a computer? Call-in with your phone: +1 646-727-4472 x365884

For more information on Global Agenda, visit the game's official website here.

UPDATE: I accidentally listed this dev chat as taking place tomorrow, when it will actually take place next Wednesday, the article has since been corrected. I apologize on behalf of for any confusion!

Aion : Holiday Ascension Pack Announced!

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Michael Bitton

In order to reward those who purchase Aion this holiday season NCsoft will be launching a "Holiday Ascension Pack" that will be available at participating retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Walmart. In addition to the game itself, the "Holiday Ascension Pack" will include a number of exclusive in-game items.

Details below:

• Special Dyes for customizing your character’s appearance
o Amazon – Hot Orange Dye
o Best Buy – Mustard Dye
o Game Stop – True Black Dye
o Target – True Red Dye
o Walmart – True White Dye
• Lesser Life Potions (20)
• Lodas's Amulet (15)
• Lesser Running Scroll (15)

We've got screenshots of all the exclusive dye's in our Aion gallery, check them out!

RAN Online : Blog - How to Become a Lead Club

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Jon Wood

The developers of RAN Online have released this new official developer blog talking about the game's "Club System." Functioning in much the same way as guilds in other MMOs, RAN encourages clubs to battle each other and become "lead clubs."

RAN online has many more contents that can be enjoyed together with other characters than alone. Obviously, it is easier to hunt together than alone. Therefore, the most of the RAN users form a party or form a Club to enjoy RAN online together every time.

Forming a club and acting as a member of that club is important in RAN online because it is providing various systems which consider team work and ties between the users very importantly.

One of the systems is called Lead Club Battle. Lead Club Battle is to define the final winner through battle between the clubs at appointed spot in 4 different regions. This is the typical type of RAN online club system and can be considered as Siege Warfare (or RvR) the emblem of online games.

Read How to Become a Lead Club.

Global Agenda : Exclusive Screens, Part #3

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Jon Wood

In a new bi-weekly series, we show off some exclusive images of the upcoming Hi-Rez Studios MMOFPS.

Check out Exclusive Screens, Part #3.

Age of Conan : Blog - Behind the Scenes: Content Team

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Jon Wood

The Funcom team has updated their official AoC Blog here at This time, Glen "Famine" Swan takes a behind-the-scenes look at the game's content team.

There is always a lot of speculation on what goes on behind the scenes during the development of a game. Some people imagine lots of sweaty developers packed into one room trying desperately to get the latest patch or build out for whatever deadline they are on. Other people believe they are all sitting at their desks with their super quad-monitor machines pwning n00bs in the latest FPS while drinking lots of Redbull. Then a slim few actually picture a great group of people who work hard doing the things they love to do; making games!

Whatever you believe the guys over here are a great bunch of people who make the impossible and unimaginable happen every day. They work day-in and day-out trying to stay ahead of the game while trying to keep up with the player. It's not an easy task by any means and a lot seem to forget how hard the journey really becomes.

Read Behind the Scenes: Content Team.

Fallen Earth : Greg Roth on Melee vs. Ranged Balance

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Jon Wood

Today, we ask Icarus Studios' Greg Roth about his philosophies on attempting to balance ranged and melee combat styles in an MMO.

Using the term "classes" when discussing the player builds of Fallen Earth is misleading, as the AP allocation and knowledge-based system of the game means that each character is constructed to the player's tastes. There are suggested builds, created either by online character profilers or word-of-mouth, but ultimately each player chooses how they wish to mold their alter ego in Fallen Earth.

As a result, we do not have the same set of concerns that another game might have in relation to balancing our mutations and standard combat roles. Each is designed to work in harmony with the other, inasmuch as a player can build themselves to perform them. That is not to say that the balancing act is any less precarious; ensuring that all the moving parts of a classless system work well together has been likened to juggling four running chainsaws.

Read Greg Roth on Melee vs. Ranged Balance.

Free Realms : Job Sampling Week Begins!

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Free Realms Creative Director Laralyn McWilliams revealed the future plans for the November & December updates to Free Realms in a recent announcement posted on the official Free Realms blog. The announcement detailed a number of new additions and changes set to hit the game this year including housing, new pets, a new fishing minigame, and some major changes to job availability for free-to-play accounts.

Free-to-play accounts will be able to play any job in the game up to level five, including jobs that were previously "Members Only", the caveat is that at level five all jobs become Members Only, with the exception of the Card Duelist and Adventurer jobs. This change will not apply retroactively to already existing characters, so if you've already got a Level 18 Ninja you should be fine.

To usher in the new changes SOE will be running a "Job Sampling Week" event this week that will focus on a different job each day and will allow players to meet the community team at the job's appropriate trainer where they will answer questions about the newly available jobs.

The "Job Sampling Week" schedule can be viewed here.

Fallen Earth : Hidden Content, Part One: Settlements

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Jon Wood

The team from Icarus Studios' Fallen Earth has put together this new series of developer journals highlighting some of the "hidden content" in their post-apocalyptic MMO. This week, they discuss some of the settlements you may not even know existed.

In a barren world of mutated creatures and scarce resources, what you manage to scavenge up, craft together or buy off other players becomes extremely valuable. But even in a post-apocalyptic world lies hidden "treasures," salvaged or tucked away from the ruins that only the bravest of players may venture out far enough to discover. The thought of stumbling across an uncharted territory, learning its secrets and reaping its rewards can be very exciting for the lone clone.

In the expansive world of Fallen Earth, there are many remote areas where players may find "secret" missions, lost "cities" and settlements and obscure creatures--a good find in the desolate wasteland.

The Fallen Earth development team will explore a few of these "hidden" areas--revealing just a fragment of what players can expect to find lurking in the outskirts.

Read Hidden Content, Part One: Settlements.

Black Prophecy : Dev Diary: Genide Faction

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The fifth and final entry to Art Director Nick Ebenhoch's Dev Diary series is now available on the official Black Prophecy website. The final dev diary focuses on the Genide faction, which is described as a "biogenetic advancement of the Humans. Progression in genetics, medicine and research are the animating spirit of the Genides..."

Unlike the Human and Tyi factions, the Genide's employ a "smoother and calmer" single module design with an emphasis on height.

Following this series of dev diaries, Technical Director Cyrus Preuss will debut a new series of dev diaries this time focusing on the more technical aspects of the game.

Find out more on the Genide faction here.

Guild Wars 2 : NCsoft CEO: Beta in 2010, Launch in 2011

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Michael Bitton

NCsoft CEO Jaeho Lee made reference to the possibility of a 2010 beta, and subsequent 2011 launch for Guild Wars 2 in a recent conference call to investors, stating, "I believe there will be certain public events in the year 2010... at least a closed beta test for those titles. Commercialization will be expected, at this point, probably some time in the year 2011."

You can download and listen to the conference call yourself here.

World of Warcraft : Goblin & Worgen Gameplay Footage

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Michael Bitton

New footage of the Goblin and Worgen races set to debut with the launch of World of Warcraft's next expansion, Cataclysm, have appeared on YouTube.

The videos, which were recorded at Russian game convention "IgroMir", show off the starting areas for the two new races, as well as the Human-to-Worgen transformation sequence. There are three videos in total.


Runes of Magic : New Raid: Lair of the Demon Dragon

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Runes of Magic is adding a new 12 man raid to the game known as the Lair of the Demon Dragon. The new raid, which is located in the Aotulia Volcano zone, will see players fight against the Naga who have captured Gestero, a demon-possessed Flame Dragon, with the intent to use its awesome power to suppress the free people.

Once Gestero is freed from the magic seal that binds him, which can only be achieved once the player defeats the Naga general, the Flame Dragon will appear to finish off the remaining Naga by breathing flame upon them.

Read more about the Lair of the Demon Dragon here!

Allods Online : Beta Begins Today!

Posted Nov 10, 2009 by Michael Bitton

We recently reported that Astrum Nival, the developers behind Allods Online, were taking sign ups for the game's upcoming Closed Beta test.

Today, we bring news that the closed beta test will commence later this afternoon! Forget to sign up? No worries! We have teamed up with the folks behind Allods Online to give away 1500 beta keys, two thirds of which are already gone! Get your key here!

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