The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar official site has been updated with a look at one of the larger denizens of Middle Earth, the giants.
Little is known about this secretive race that dwells high atop the mountain passes and peaks of Middle-earth. Some would say their existence is merely the stuff of tales for children, but there are those who have explored less-inhabited lands and have witnessed the power of the giants first-hand. If the tales are to be believed, it is said that the giants resemble Men in much the same way as Hobbits do, but where Hobbits are diminutive, the giants are enormous! Imagine a tribe of Men, each standing a full sixty feet in height, hurling boulders from mountaintop to mountaintop creating a thunder all their own. The power of these creatures instantly sends a chill down the spine of any who hear the tale!
The giants of Middle-earth, while rarely mentioned and never described in great detail in The Lord of the Rings books, are an important part of the design of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. Mysterious and powerful though they are indeed, the giants are also a rare mix of both terrifying monster and potential ally for the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. As of yet holding no alliance to either side in the War of the Ring, the on-going battle between the giants in the peaks of the Misty Mountains east of Rivendell is sure to attract the attention of the bravest of adventurers.
Read more about the Giants of Middle Earth here.
The patch notes for Chapter 6.8: Masters of the Wild have been posted on the Star Wars Galaxies official site.
On Thursday, July 26th at 4:00 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.
- /assist now takes an optional parameter for the name of the character to /assist, so you no longer have to target the character you want to /assist. /assist without any parameter still works as usual, which is to /assist the character you have targeted.
- Different classes now get different stats, rather then everyone getting 90 or 0 in everything. See Racial/Class Statistics at the end of these update notes for more information.
- Wookiee Shoulder Pads now use the left shoulder slot.
- Players can now join groups if they are in stealth.
- Added purple color to the Mandalorian color palette.
- Altered Force Melon to act as a healing stim item.
- Imperial Battle and Imperial Super Battle Droids found patrolling Theed will no longer attack Rebels on Leave.
- Increased the experience and credits given as a reward for the repeatable Azure Cabal quests.
- Dulok villages on Endor have had Duloks added to them.
- Dantooine villages have had spawns added to them.
- Huff Darklighter now gives his quest.
- Tusken junktown mobs spawn no longer inside of world building objects.
- Disabled Igbi Freemo's static quest.
Read the full publish notes here.
Hasium has posted an update on Game Update #2 for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, detailing all of the changes and improvements that will soon be on their test server.
Here are the long awaited details of Game Update #2. There is variety of good stuff in there as well as a couple of items that are sure to be controversial. The Update addresses several performance issues, some long needed polish, new features and some changes to help the economy.
The Update will be pushed to test very soon. We need as many people as we can to bang on it while it's on test. QA has done a great job finding most of the major bugs, but we really need the players to put Update 2 through its paces before we can push it to Live.
We will make a Game Update 2 post where the changes can be discussed and Dev's will be responding to.
Game Update #2
- Guild Halls
- The Brotherhood System
- Bind on Equip
- LFG Improvements
- Rest Experience
- Level Based Diplomacy
- Diplomacy UI
- Item Level Requirements
- PvP bug fixes
- Crash To Desktop fixes and Optimizations
- Quest Journal and Quest Tracking improvements
- Item UI
- Scrolling Combat Text
Read the details here.
Blizzard has posted an announcement that the World Series of Video Games stop in Louisville, Kentucky will air in a one hour special on CBS at noon on Sunday, July 29.
Don't expect to see David Letterman or even CSI when you tune in to CBS this Sunday, July 29 at noon Eastern Time. It will instead be locked in the midst of a battle between the Horde and the Alliance on the distant world of Azeroth. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade will make its network television debut on CBS Sports as part of an hour-long special on the World Series of Video Games circuit stop in Louisville, Kentucky.
The World Series of Video Games, presented by Intel, features World of Warcraft as a headline title and gives players a chance to play for a piece of the $90,000 prize pot. Check out some hardcore 3v3 PvP Arena action as the best World of Warcraft teams in America fight for the gold (medal, that is). Be sure to see Team Pandemic under the watchful eye of Joseph "Noktyn" Romano take on Insurrection, Mob TurtlePower, fnatic and other heavyweights. Can they hold their own or will there be a new top team in town?
The only way to find out is to tune in Sunday, July 29 on CBS Sports at 12 p.m. Eastern Time/9 a.m. Pacific Time.
View the trailer and get more deatails here.
Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at a thread from our forums that discusses the idea of an insect MMORPG, and the idea that the setting doesn't matter, it's features that are key.
This week on the forums, user DruNk_DwArF2 posted his idea for a new MMO genre - an insect MMO, where players play as ants, termites, bees, etc. Seeing this post got me thinking about the whole idea of MMO genres in general.
In my freshman year at college, I remember expressing a love of fantasy to my Creative Fiction professor. His response radically changed my views on all media and entertainment, from books to plays to movies to video games. "The genre is a setting; write compelling characters and a compelling plot, and how they're dressed or where they're from doesn't matter."
While I love seeing new settings open up in the game world - I know plenty of us are tired of dragons and elves - I think that a lot of new games lately have used genre almost as a one trick pony. Instead of developing a cool story, precise balance, engaging gameplay - our game is about pirates! Instead of detailed character creation, world involvement, storytelling - our game is about spaceships! So what would happen if our game was about insects?
Read it all here.
A while back, MMORPG.com ran the first part of an interview with Mark Davis and Steve Perlins from EA Mythic. Today, in the second of what has become a three-part series, Mark tells us about the starting area and quests for the Dwars in Warhammer Online. Warning, if you don't want to know what happens in your first hours of Dwarf play, you may not want to read this article.
Some time ago, MMORPG.com presented part one of an interview with Warhammer Online's Mark Davis and Steve Perlins. Mark is the game's Deputy Content Director, while Steve is a Director.
Last time, we talked about everything from the IP itself, to closed beta, to the issue of Warhammer being seen as a WoW clone. To round out the interview, the guys told me, in great detail, about the starting areas, and the first few quests in the life of a Dwarf and a Greenskin.
For players who may not already know, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning's RvR system pits warring races against each other, and the Dwarfs and the Greenskins love nothing more than to destroy each other.
These areas were the first ones that the folks over at EA Mythic actually worked on, and so they've had a chance to do them, look them over and make sure that they convey the proper message.
Before we continue any further, this is a revelation of the first few hours of game play for the Dwarf race. In short, spoiler alert!.
Read the whole report here.
The 2008 Indie MMO Game Developers Conference has been officially announced, and will be taking place on March 29 and 30 in Minneapolis, MN.
Minneapolis, MN - July 23, 2007 - Last Straw Productions announced today the dates for the second annual Indie MMO Game Developers Conference, to be held in Minneapolis, MN. The Indie MMO Game Developers Conference (IMGDC), to be held on March 29 and 30 will be an informative, educational, and fun gathering of independent game developers from around the world who want to focus on MMOG technologies and network with designers and developers as passionate as they are. IMGDC 2008 is designed to be an informal venue of Indie and hobbyist developers with the shared goal to focus on design, development and production of Indie MMOGs/Virtual Worlds. IMGDC 2008 will have sessions ranging from game design to legal issues facing Indie developers. Industry professionals and pioneers, including Dr. Richard Bartle and Jay Moore, will be providing sessions focusing on "Industry Secrets." IMGDC 2008 will also feature demo stations where Indie developers will be able to showcase their latest creations and designs. IMGDC provides an excellent opportunity for team building and networking.
"My team received approximately $30,000 in free consulting advice in two days and several free drinks. I'd call that a smashing success for us" says Rhea Studios CEO Eric Rhea. "We're focusing more on networking and connections for IMGDC 2008" states IMGDC founder and director Jonathon Stevens. "It's incredible the impact excitement and dedication can have when building entire worlds like MMOG makers do. It's only natural that a conference for the most passionate, dedicated, and excited developers would be a hit!"
IMGDC provides content, community and contacts for artists, designers, programmers, and Indie entrepreneurs. If you've caught the incurable desire to make MMO games commercially, or even as a hobbyist, this is a community gathering of talented individuals and groups you will not want to miss.
Read more at http://www.imgdc.com.
SOE has announced The Matrix Online Buddy Rewards Program. The program will allow players to invite friends to join the game for a 14 day trial.
The Matrix Online Buddy Rewards Program
From July 25, 2007, through August 31, 2007, The Matrix Online (MxO) is offering its players the opportunity to bring up to five buddies into the Matrix with the MxO Buddy Rewards Program. Players will have the opportunity to invite their friends to "Take the Red Pill" and join The Matrix Online for up to 14 consecutive days.
Players who are opted in will receive a key that offers a trial of up to 14 consecutive days to enter The Matrix Online and become part of the continuing story of the Matrix. Trial Account Buddy Keys are only good until 11:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time on August 31, 2007, so time is limited for those who wish to join. Connect with friends right away and Jack In!
At the conclusion of the 14-day trial period if a player's friend wants to continue playing MxO, they can transition their trial account to an active subscription by entering a valid credit card or an official SOE game card onto the account. Trial keys only work for new accounts, so players need to make sure that the friends they refer do not have an existing account for The Matrix Online or an active Station Access account.
Take the Red Pill! Jack in!
July 25, 2007 - August 31, 2007
Read more about The Matrix Online at http://thematrixonline.station.sony.com.
IGG has released information giving an overview of the Deity system in Godswar Online.
GodsWar Online Features-- Deity System Preview
For most players, the charm of the game lies on the unique quest system. Deity System is one of the characteristic systems of GodsWar Online (http://gw.igg.com). Believing in different gods can bring players different ability bonus, as well as GodsWar skills.
Deity System introduction:
In Greece, Zeus, Athena, Apollo and so on are common to worship. In GodsWar Online players can choose one of 14 gods to believe in and there are also corresponding huge temples and statues in various cities.
Players can believe in Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Ares, Demeter, Hestia, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Hermes and Dionysus, obtaining ability bonus and GodsWar skills respectively. GodsWar skill that can be used through accumulating the power of God is an important system in the game. Although, it possesses different attributes and effects due to different beliefs, there is no doubt that such effects are tremendous and can even reverse the situation of the war. If players are teamed up, one of them uses the GodsWar skill properly will help all members to obtain extra bonus; this is the chained Deity System of the game. Certainly, there are still many other systems that the players have never experienced, such as the Combo System, intense PK clan systems and so on. Players will be deeply impressed by the abundant content of the game.
Read more about Gods War at http://gw.igg.com.
In the first of three features, Guild Wars: Eye of the North and MMORPG.com present this Region Profile on Gunnar's Hold and the Norn, the wild people who populate it.
The Norn of the Far Shiverpeaks are a wild, independent people. These huge, shapeshifting barbarians are hunters by nature, who trek endlessly across the mountainous, snow-covered territory pursuing their prey. All the creatures of the wild fear and respect their abilities, and the Norn continually seek out the toughest of opponents to test their fighting prowess and expand their reputations. The most powerful and well-respected of the Norn are those who have bested the largest number of the toughest opponents.
The Norn make few permanent homes, and those Norn buildings that do persist longer than a single winter have passed through numerous families and clans throughout their history. Permanent Norn settlements are even fewer, and change hands with similar frequency. Usually a settlement is named after the most powerful of the Norn currently residing there, so the same location may have many names (making it even harder to track the history of this semi-nomadic race). Norn settlements can be abandoned and rebuilt many times, sometimes due to conflicts, but just as often because better hunting has been found elsewhere.
Read the whole article here.
Turbine has announced a referral program fro Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, where players can gain game time by referring friends to the game.
We're proud to announce the Turbine Referral Program, a great way to earn free game time by introducing your family and friends to The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™! It's so easy an orc can do it!
The Turbine Referral Program lets paying subscribers of The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ refer friends to play the game and receive free game time for successful referrals, subject to certain terms and conditions (see myaccount.turbine.com/referral/rules). Each of your referred friends will be sent a Guest Key to try the game for free for ten (10) consecutive days!
For every friend that buys the retail edition of the game, registers a retail product key at myaccount.turbine.com, and subscribes to the game, you'll get a referral credit that can be redeemed for 30 days of FREE game time that can be added to your subscription to that game! If you're already a Lifetime Member we'll issue you a 30 day game card key to give to a friend who is a game subscriber.
Read more about the referal program here.
In her last report from this year's E3, Staff Writer Carolyn Koh catches us up on Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, including information on Book 10 and player housing.
On the last day of E3 2007, I made my way to my appointment with the Lord of the Rings Online demo via Midway Games, going through several PR guard types: "Do you have an appointment? With whom?" I was flashing my media credentials and bleating Adam Mersky's (Director of Public Relations for Turbine) name like a mantra against the Witch-King himself. How many had tried to sneak in without an appointment? I wondered to myself as Adam came out to greet me then hung out with me to chat while Senior Designer Allan Maki completed a visit with another member of the media.
"We didn't expect to be here," Adam told me, "but Midway tells us, 'we'll save you a spot!' So here we are, and by the way... Housing is coming out in Book 11 in the Fall." He dropped that tidbit like it was an insignificant by and by. Where and how? I demanded of him. "Well, we can't have houses popping up in the shire!" was his response as he fielded my questions with aplomb at the same time, giving nothing away as they had yet to finalize the details. "Oh, and here's Allan to show you Chicken play!" Saved by the bell, as it were.
Read the whole article here.
CCP has announced the successful implementation of the Revelations 2.1 patch, which included several fixes and upgrades, including a Stackless Python upgrade that they say will increase the game's performance.
As you may well know, your favorite space-game owes its existence to the programming language Python and particularly, a variant thereof called Stackless Python. When EVE was released in 2003 it had version 2.1 under the hood and a year later we upgraded this to a brand new version 2.3, skipping version 2.2 in the process. Since the move to version 2.3 not much has happened, or at least as far as Stackless and EVE are concerned.
That was not the case for the Python community though. The man behind Stackless, Christian Tismer, rewrote the internals of Stackless for version 2.3, which we called Stackless 2.3.1. This would form the platform for Stackless in the later versions of Python, including 2.4 and 2.5. At that point, we had a difficult decision to make because the logistics of maintaining a large software project made it difficult for us to make a large core change in the binaries. Facing questionable benefits and a risky deployment, should we make the jump?
Read more about the Stackless Python upgrade here.
Read the patch notes here.
In advance of the upcoming server merge in Dungeons and Dragons Online, Turbine has announced that characters on Risia, on of the new servers, will recieve +1.5% XP and +1 loot on Wednesday, July 25th.
In preparation for the upcoming server merge, we invite you to join us on Risia starting Wednesday, July 25th, at 5pm EST!
Just for playing on Risia, you'll enjoy +1.5% XP and +1 Loot!
We'll be merging all characters from Mabar and Argonnessen onto Risia that were created before 12:01 am on Wednesday July 25th. You can still play on Risia if you do not have characters from Mabar or Argonnessen, everyone is welcome!
Risia requires a special client. Be sure to download the latest version here if you don't already have the Risia client installed. (Current Risia players only need to patch.) For more information, please see the Risia knowledge base article here. Loot and XP benefits will return to normal levels Monday morning at 9am.
Read the announcement here.
Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft has reached a new subscriber milestone: 9 million subscribers worldwide.
IRVINE, Calif. - July 24, 2007 - Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced today that World of Warcraft®, its award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), has reached a new milestone, with a player base now totaling more than 9 million subscribers worldwide. The company is currently working with its partner for World of Warcraft in China, The9, to prepare the game's first expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade™, for launch in mainland China and anticipates an influx of new and returning subscribers in conjunction with that event.
"We're thrilled that gamers around the world have continued to embrace World of Warcraft so enthusiastically," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment®. "We've worked hard to provide a compelling experience for our players, and we plan to continue updating the game with exciting new content for them to enjoy for many years to come."
Since debuting in North America on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has become the most popular MMORPG around the world. It was the bestselling PC game of 2005 and 2006* and has remained at or near the top of the weekly PC-game sales charts for much of 2007 as well. Blizzard's Burning Crusade expansion released to critical acclaim in several regions earlier this year and shattered PC-game sales records in North America and Europe, with nearly 2.4 million copies sold in its first 24 hours of release and approximately 3.5 million in its first month. World of Warcraft is available in seven different languages and, in addition to North America and Europe, is played in mainland China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
World of Warcraft's Subscriber Definition World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.
Read the full release here.
Ncsoft and Cryptic Studios have announced the launch of Issue 10: Invasion for City of Heroes / Villains.
PARAGON CITY, Rhode Island, July 24th - The city's morning calm was shattered by air raid sirens just after 10:00 a.m. The Vanguard issued an all-alerts broadcast on the Emergency Alert System declaring, "AIR RAID! PARAGON CITY! THIS IS NO DRILL!"
Early reports indicate that the attack was a well-coordinated assault on numerous key urban centers around the globe. Witnesses in Paragon City claimed that the skies darkened with heavy, grey thunderheads moments before the first wave of alien invaders tore across the sky.
The brutal and unprovoked attack caused incalculable damage in the first few minutes. The city's protective War Walls collapsed, and vital points of the city's infrastructure were devastated by tactical nuclear strikes. Paragon's heroic defenders were overwhelmed by the initial assault, and the local MedCom network was jammed to capacity.
Vanguard coordinated with local and federal authorities to broadcast the following information. "This city is under immediate threat from Rikti attack. Civilians should seek cover and avoid the streets at all costs! Civilians are advised to shelter-in-place, remaining inside your home or office and protect yourself there. If you are wounded, please seek aid at your nearest hospital or medical facility."
Read more in the Paragon Times here.
Read the patch notes here.
Grigon Entertainment and the Cartoon Network have announced that attendees of this year's San Diego Comic Con will get a first glimpse of their upcomming MMO, Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall.
Cartoon Network's first massively multi-player online game (MMOG), Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall, has its debut at Comic-Con 2007 in San Diego, beginning Wednesday, July 25. Scheduled for a summer 2008 release, the game will have playable demos at Cartoon Network's booth on the Comic-Con show floor. In addition, a panel of FusionFall creators will provide an in-depth look at the game at Comic-Con on Thursday, July 26 at 5:00 p.m. (PT) in Room 3 of the San Diego Convention Center.
FusionFall is an MMOG set in a re-imagined Cartoon Network universe. As a kid in this world, players will team up with other players and Cartoon Network characters to defend it from an alien invasion of epic proportions. The game is a mix of all the action of a 3-D console platform game and all the customization, character development and open-ended world exploration of an MMORPG (massively multi-player online role-playing game). In addition, small, super-deformed versions of Cartoon Network characters are collected along the way and travel with players, providing powers and abilities to assist during missions.
"We're thrilled to present a first look at FusionFall at this year's Comic-Con," said Paul Condolora, senior vice president and general manager of Cartoon Network New Media. "Our current offering of online games continues to be the main driver of Cartoon Network New Media's success, and we've surpassed 2 billion game plays annually for the past three years. FusionFall fulfills our goal of increasing the range of game play we offer, and we expect it to significantly expand our audience."
Read the full release here.
EA Mythic has released new pre alpha footage from Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
Warhammer Online: Age of ReckoningPre Alpha Footage
As part of the July assets update EA/Mythic have released this video showing off some pre alpha footage from the upcoming WAR MMO.
Check out the video here.
We've added a new game to our game list, Wyd Global, or With Your Destiny, is a free 3D fantasy MMO.
With Your Destiny II is a free full 3d MMORPG that embarks on one's dream in fulfilling his destiny. Join the army of Armia and choose from 4 character classes: Transknight, Foema, Beastmaster and Huntress. The Transknight is the frontline men of the game. They are the ones tanking in a party or guild. The Foema is the nuker of the game and at the same time, the healer and support. Her magic, buffs and healing abilities are one of the best there is in the game. The Beastmaster has the ability to shapeshift, use elemental magic and summon beasts to aid him in battle. This class is the secondary tanks of the game (sometimes even better than Transknight). The Huntress is the sniper of the game. With her keen sense and accuracy, not many are lucky to live in a battle with a huntress.
With Your Destiny II offers high quality full 3D Game Graphics and offers a low basic system requirement of Pentium 3 500Mh, 128 MB RAM and 16MB VRAM of 3D graphics card to be able to play. The game is also playable with Riva TNT2(32MB) and Geforce2 MX. The game also has a user-friendly interface that makes playing it without hassle. The game introduces a party system and guild system that are designed for faster leveling and to promote socialization. Guild Wars and Guild Ranking System is also periodically held to see who the strongest guild is. You can also choose from a list of mountable pets that will aid you in your battles. This mounts gives additional effects on the user riding it. Enter Dungeons and Special Areas to kill the Boss Monsters and obtain rare items from it. Create a guild and join the guild wars to bring honor to your name. You can change to PK mode to attack enemy users in PK areas. The game also offers 96 varieties of skills to obtain, 7 grades of Armors and 82 kinds of weapons to collect. The quest system is designed to increase the user's capabilities and to heightened user interest. Join a kingdom and protect it from the opposing kingdom. Obtain the "crown" to establish your ranks among others. With Your Destiny II also introduces a Mount System that will greatly enhance the gaming experience of the users. Break your human limits by doing the God Quest to change your human body to a god character! Changing into god character allows you to choose your secondary job of the characters. It also gives the god character new actions and skills to learn. A new mount will also be available upon reaching the god class.
So be brave young soldier. Your destiny awaits in With Your Destiny II.
Read more about WYD here.