MMOWTF columnist Dan Fortier brings his own brand of cynicism and sarcasm to a look at what MMORPG fans can expect from the industry in the coming year.
Now that we’ve cleansed ourselves of 2007, it’s time to look ahead to what the New Year might hold for us MMORPG addicts. Many of the games that are scheduled to be released in 2007 were pushed back to this year. While I might poke fun at companies that take forever to produce a title, it is nice to see that a couple of the major companies did the smart thing and decided to avoid the mistakes of the past and not release a game in Beta. For those of you who made a New Year’s Resolution to stop reading my weekly crap...you’d best stop reading now as I gaze into the future and predict the rise and fall of MMO kings and nations.
There are only a few titles that have openly announced release dates within 2008, but what they lack in numbers, they more than make up for in popularity. EA Mythic’s vision of the Warhammer universe was delayed into the second quarter of this year in order to finish the game properly. While it boasts several new and interesting features like Public Quests, I’m more than a little disturbed that they have decided to leave out stealth entirely in order to try and make PvP more balanced. No one is less surprised than me that they have stuck with the “game over world” mentality by making WAR more of a giant persistent multi-layered carnival than a freeform adventure. At my core though, I’m still a big Warhammer fan so I’m hoping that WAR will succeed in finally driving ‘teh grind’ from the field of battle.
Read more here.
Now that the votes have been tabulated, MMORPG.com is pleased to reveal the winners of the 2007 MMORPG.com Reader's Choice Awards. We would like to congratulate this year's winners and thank our members for providing their votes.
We've tabulated your more than 40,000 votes and today, we reveal your choices in the 2007 Reader's Choice Awards.
We had eight categories this year, with nominees in each category provided by the editorial staff. MMORPG.com members had until January 30th to cast their ballots and let us know who their favorite was in each category.
MMORPG.com would like to thank those who took the time to participate in the voting!
Check out the winners here.
Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment has announced that a trailer for Stargate Worlds will debut along with the Stargate: Atlantis mid season premiere on January 4th. Also, starting January 18th, they'll be running a contest where fans could win the chance to have their name or likeness added to Stargate Worlds.
MESA, Arizona –Dec. 22 2007 – Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment (CME) will give fans a sneak peek of its debut massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) - titled Stargate Worlds® - when the first trailer debuts Jan. 4, 2008, with the mid-season premiere of Stargate Atlantis on the SciFi Channel.
Stargate Atlantis returns on Jan. 4 at 10/9 p.m. EST/CST.
Starting Jan. 18, 2008, viewers can enter for a chance to win an opportunity to have their name or likeness incorporated into Stargate Worlds in the Unlock the Gate Sweepstakes. Viewers are invited to watch Stargate Atlantis each Friday starting on Jan. 18, 2008 at 10/9c on SciFi to retrieve a unique code to enter the sweepstakes.
“We have spent years looking for a quality gaming partner to extend the Stargate franchise beyond television and DVDs,” said Travis J. Rutherford, executive vice president, MGM Consumer Products and Location Based Entertainment. “This trailer is an exciting preview of that extension, and we are proud to have the opportunity to debut it as part of the Stargate Atlantis return. Our fans will jump at the chance to have their likeness incorporated in the MMORPG and become a part of Stargate history.”
Based on Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s (MGM) Stargate franchise, Stargate Worlds features tactical modern combat vs. science-fiction weapons and instant travel across the galaxy in a story-driven MMORPG.
“The trailer will give gamers and fans a glimpse at what they can expect to find in Stargate Worlds,” said Rod Nakamoto, senior vice president of product development, Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment. “It’s a mix of old and new elements that hint at the direction we are taking the franchise.”
Read more about Stargate Worlds here.
Inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been announced as the 2008 Game Developers Conference keynote speaker, where he will prognosticate on what the next 20 years holds for gaming.
SAN FRANCISCO-Jan. 3, 2008-Celebrated inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil will deliver a keynote address at the 2008 Game Developers Conference (GDC) inspiring attendees to take a dramatic look at the future of games and electronic entertainment. Described as "the rightful heir to Thomas Edison" by Inc magazine and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes, Kurzweil is uniquely positioned to speak to the GDC audience about the next two decades of videogames and what the landscape may well look like come GDC 2028. GDC, the world's largest industry-only event dedicated to the advancement of interactive entertainment, returns to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco for a week of networking, learning, and inspiration February 18-22, 2008. Complete details and registration for the conference are available now at www.gdconf.com.
"Bringing the future to life today has always been at the heart of the game industry, so it's essential to have our vision refreshed by one of our greatest living thinkers," said Jamil Moledina, executive director of the Game Developers Conference. "As a technology inventor and prophetic visionary, Ray Kurzweil is that rare individual who can inspire the next evolutionary step forward in what games can do."
Ray Kurzweil has repeatedly been recognized as an intellectual pioneer by some of the most respected American media sources. He was described as "the restless genius" by the Wall Street Journal, and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among entrepreneurs in the United States, calling him the "rightful heir to Thomas Edison," and PBS included him as one of 16 "revolutionaries who made America," along with other inventors of the past two centuries. As one of the leading inventors of our time, Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.
Read more here.
Please join us on Sunday, January 13th at 1pm EST, for another MMORPG.com dev chat!
On Sunday, January13th, join MMORPG.com for another chat with the minds behind The Chronicles of Spellborn! During this chat we will discuss the lore and world of Spellborn with the TCoS community management team and the Lead Content Designer himself! The event starts at 1pm EST in the MMORPG.com Live Chatroom Bring a question, bring a friend! After the chat, be sure to stick around for TCoS and other MMORPG discussion.
Users can also connect via any IRC client, to server irc.coldfront.net. The chat will take place in #mmorpg.
Learn more about the Chronicles of Spellborn here!
Our Zu Online screenshot gallery has been updated with 11 new images, including 6 images of the Sun Warriors showing off their weapons and armour.
The Tantra helps the Sun Warriors to have strong wills and iron bodies. They are always on the front line of the war, defeating their enemies with their body and protecting their teammates. They are the strongest warriors in the Secondary World. If you engage in a fight against them, you’d better keep your distance.
To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.
Read more about the Sun Warriors here.
Myth War Online is currently running a promotion where players will receive a discount on certain item mall transactions if they go shopping on their Birthday.
Myth War team (http://mw.igg.com) has prepared some special gifts for players who buy items from the Item Mall on their birthday.
Gift One: 20% discount
Content: All players can get 20% discount if they spend more than 500 points on items in one transaction which means at most 5 items in a shopping listing.
Event duration: Midnight EST Jan 3 th, 2008 to 23:59 EST Jan 31 th, 2008
Notes: One transaction purchase only.
Gift Two: 20% discount and double integrals
Content: Players can get 20% discount and double integrals if they purchase any items on their birthdays. But players purchase via papal can't share the integrals.
Start-up time: Midnight EST on Jan 3 th, 2008
Notes: One transaction purchase only.
Read more here.
The Stargate Worlds development team has announced their return from their holiday break, and proclaimed 2008 to be the year of Stargate Worlds. With less than a year to go before launch, they've also posted a few words detailing what fans can expect from Cheyenne Mountain in 2008.
The team at Stargate Worlds has returned from a well-deserved holiday break and are already hard at work here at Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment. As you are most likely aware, our game is due to be released on store shelves in the last quarter of the year, so we have some work to do!
What should you expect from us? StargateWorlds.com will continue to bring you the news and features you demand, plus a few exciting new developments along the way, including radio shows, more developer chats, a new web kit, and more varieties of podcasts to feast on.
What can we expect from you? Your thoughts, of course! This game is for you, and one way to ensure that we create a product our users demand is by taking the pulse of our forum -- reading what you, the upcoming player, have to say about what you see and hear on this site -- and mold some of those thoughts and hopes into the fabric of the game itself. So if you have not made a forum account yet, now is the time to sign up and get talking!
Read more here.
The Chronicles of Spellborn official site has been updated with a New Year's message where they announce the winners of the Spellbornian Winter Holiday Competition. They also mention that TCoS rang in the new year by passing the 100,000 forum user milestone.
With a light of the fires, brilliance of the fireworks and a taste of champagne Spellborn team wishes Happy New Year to our dear community members!
New Year starts with happy events for Spellborn! On the New Year eve we got 100.000th member subscribed to our forum, round milestone to celebrate indeed!
Also, it is time to announce our Spellbornian Winter Holiday Competition winners! We thank everyone who submitted their entry to the competition - it was fun to see and read all of them!
Aaaand .... the winners are:
1. geckzilla with the awesome Spellbornian Xmas tree artwork.
2. Shared between 2 Xmas carols by siniewee (The Sad and Most Gruesome Ballad of Hoppy Frosty) and Tim Teckler (Sweeter the hoppies)
3. Freedo92 with a cosy Xmas implementation in Green District.
Read more here.
Flying Lab Software has posted an FAQ answering questions about the process used to determine the server list for Pirates of the Burning Sea. The FAQ also includes an updated version of the PotBS sever list, which was announced last week.
There have been a whole slew of questions about our servers both before and after the announcement of our server names. Im going to attempt to touch on some of these. With no further ado, here we go!
How do we decide how many servers we need?
I answered this on the forums in this post, but let me reproduce some of it here.
(ALL NUMBERS QUOTED BELOW ARE FABRICATED AND ARE INTENDED TO ILLUSTRATE THE PROCESS, NOT INDICATE ANY EXPECTATIONS WE HAVE )
Step one is to take our expected subscriber counts. Let’s say that the multiplier for presales to subscribers is 2.00, and we are on track to get 50,000 presales units sold. This results in an expected subscriber count of 100,000.
Read more here.
SOE will be holding a legends of Norrath promotional weekend, starting Friday January 4th. During the weekend EverQuest and EverQuest II players can expect an increased drop rate for card packs, and will have the chance to find two new cards.
Calling all EverQuest® and EverQuest® II players! What's more fun than defeating opponents in your game and picking up Legends of Norrath booster packs, starter decks and combo packs? Well, how about the opportunity to get even more of them?
Introducing the next Legends of Norrath Promotion Weekend, set to begin at 2PM (PST) Friday, January 4, 2008 and conclude at 11:59PM (PST) on Sunday, January 6, 2008. During this special weekend, EQ and EQII players should not only enjoy an increased rate of card pack drops, but will have the opportunity to obtain two brand new cards: Chocolate Goblin (2P3) and Protection of the Dain (2P4).
For now, these two new cards will only be available during this three-day promotional weekend, so don't miss out on the chance to get them!
Read more here.
Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at the concept of online friends and looks at a forum post that brings to question the concept of friendships in MMOs, and what communities best foster these long-lasting relationships.
Our mothers never got it, did they? I can’t count how many times I had a parent or a sibling ask me, “Why don’t you get off the computer and spend some time with your friends?” Because, Mom, my friends are in my computer.
The gamer generation is experiencing a phenomenon of technology: the long distance community. Pen pals only took you so far, pre-internet, but now-a-days we have entire cliques at the tip of our fingertips, with instant communication and even virtual spaces where we can hang out. Forget Vegas – even marriages are formed and destroyed online!
But how easy is it to make friends in an MMO? This week on the forums, user natuxatu brings to question the concept of friendships in MMOs, and what communities best foster these long-lasting relationships.
Read the whole article here.
In this interview, MMORPG.com's Joe Iuliani asks questions of the folks over at IGG about their new MMORPG, Angels Online.
Were you aiming for a particular target audience for Angels Online?
Because of its cute cartoon style, we believe that younger players and of course girls will be instantly attracted to this game. But that is not to say that if you are not in one of these categories that you shouldn't try it, you may be pleasantly surprised!
What level of character personalization will there be?
Firstly, let me say that AO has a unique double class and skill system. Meaning that classes and skills are not automatically connected i.e. Warrior class and Sword skills. Which; makes the characters far more personal to the player. Also the player is able to change or match their class once they have started playing. So it is possible for characters from different classes to have the same skills and visa versa
Read the whole article here.
IGG has announced that they have received a 4.5 million dollars in funding from IDG Technology Venture Investment.
IGG Inc., (www.igg.com) a world-class MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) provider, announced today the completion of a $4.5 million round of Series A funding led by IDG Technology Venture Investment (IDGVC Partners).
Dedicated to serve worldwide players with the best interactive online games, IGG Inc. launched its first MMORPG in May 2006. Since then, IGG has successfully released and operated 6 MMORPGs through www.igg.com. With over 3.5 million registered users as of Q3 2007, IGG has established its reputation as a world-class publisher meeting the demand of players of different ages and favors in both North America and Europe.
Besides publishing a portfolio of numerous licensed games running the gamut from action to fantasy, IGG also grows a talented development team to design and develop its own games to contribute to the interactive MMOG world. The new funds will be used to expand global sales and marketing, to implement strategic plans, and to further the development of more innovative and entertaining games. Furthermore, the funds will be used to market games in more regions and for player of different languages. IGG believes that, by growing together with the global business and technology partners as well as the royal users, it will become a key player in the online gaming world in the foreseeable future.
Read more about IGG here.
IGG has released an overview of the uses of the various life skills including mining, fishing, woodcutting, and salvage, in Tales of Pirate.
In addition to the essential Class Skills that enhance the characters fighting abilities, players should also strive to learn different Life Skills to survive in Tales of Pirates. In order to learn these skills players need to have enough Life Skill Points; which can be gained by completing Story Quests. Once enough points have been collected the player can then go to the Grocer’s shops in the cities to purchase the Life Skill book.Woodcutting
After the player has mastered the Woodcutting Skill, they should pay the Blacksmith a visit to buy an Axe so that they can become truly qualified as a woodcutter. However, in the world of TOP players do not need to worry it is possible to lumber as much wood as you want without upsetting the environment. But they will find that trees from different levels will require different woodcutting levels, so if the player has not yet reached that level then the cutting will fail. After you have collected enough wood it is possible to take it to a Freight NPC, who can pack it into a Wood Bundle; which is important to enhance the endurance of a ship during travelling.Salvage
Over the years many merchant ships have sunk to the depths of the ocean; taking with them their precious cargos and secrets. They have slumbered down on the bottom untouched for years just waiting for a brave player to find them. After the player has learned Salvage Skill they can sail a ship that is equipped with mechanical arms to search the ocean floor for sunken vessels. By salvaging these wrecks the player can get some common goods that can be sold in the cities. But there is also the chance for the player to become richer beyond their wildest dreams. There are also some much unexpected treasures waiting for them.Fishing
The Wide Ocean that surrounds the various islands is teeming with myriads of fish. Before a player can sail out to collect them they must first learn the Fishing Skill. Different fish are also of different levels; which makes some harder than others to collect, but through this players can obtain Sashimi and Fish Meat. Sashimi is required in order to complete some of the quests, so it is a very popular item in the cities. Fish Meat can be used to restore supplies whilst sailing. Players who are leveling up at sea must learn the Fishing Skill and use a ship with fishing nets.
Read more here.
Evergreen Events has announced that they have renamed the Online Game Developers Conference (OGDC), which will now be know as the ION Game Conference.
SEATTLE, Washington, January 2, 2008 – With the start of a fresh new year, Evergreen Events announces the new ION Game Conference identity for the game industry conference formerly known as “OGDC”. Empowered with a new name, logo and website, the identity and schedule for ION is not only on track but infused with an even stronger focus. The ION Game Conference will take place at the well-appointed Seattle Waterfront Marriott Hotel in the picturesque waterfront district, from May 13 to May 15, 2008. The ION Game Conference will feature a broad array of expert-level lectures and panels, networking events and an expo area exhibiting cutting-edge technology and games for 2008 and beyond.
The new ION Game Conference identity and logo reinforces the global reach of a game industry event that remains focused on top-quality networking and online game development. Last year, the conference drew nearly 20% of attendees outside the United States, such as from Korea, Germany, Japan and Australia.
“At Evergreen Events, we wanted a new identity that represented what we offer with our conference: unsurpassed networking opportunities and unique sessions and panels you cannot find anywhere else, among hundreds of like-minded online game industry veterans from around the world,” declared Peter Freese, Conference Director for the ION Game Conference. “’ION’ best symbolizes these qualities.”
Read more here.
IGG has released an overview of the Manufacture System in Wonderland Online, which will allow players to create aircraft, sports cars, and UFOs.
Today Wonderland Online is going to give its players a little preview of the Manufacture System.
The Manufacture System of Wonderland Online will facilitate the players’ item-making. Players can make aircrafts, sporty cars or even UFOs with its “Tent System”. They have to get the tents from the Astrologer in Kelan Village first, and then prepare the necessary materials for item making. To make the highest-level items, players must start by first making low-level tools. Click on the Work Bench to see the tools available for compounding: Coconut Basin, Wooden Saw, Stone Knife and Coker nut. Players must first make these four basic tools before compounding more high-level items. For example; the Low-Temperature Kiln can be made out of the Coconut Basin, the Kitchen Range can be made out of the Low-Temperature Kiln and other tools can be made out of the Kitchen Range. In this way they can make many items, even a ladder to divide a one storey tent into a two storey one. So; the more basic tools that they have created, the more items that they will be able to craft from them. Because of this system the manufacturing system can be shown as a tree like diagram.
Before making items, players must choose what it is that they wish to make from the list on the Work Bench. The list will display the required materials for creating the items. Players can acquire these materials by fishing, collecting and fighting.
Pictures and text:
- Wonderland Online’s Manufacture System adopts a tree representation. That is, the more items that are made in the players’ former game play, the more items that can be compounded when the players continue their game.
- Players can obtain the materials through fishing, collecting and fighting. If they have enough materials, the red “Enough” can be seen on the left side of the manufacturing list. If not then, the red “Not Enough” can be seen there instead.
- Before making some special items, such as the ultra-modern Transportation Vehicle, blueprints must be acquired when the “Tents” are made use of. Blueprints can be acquired by completing plot quests.
Wonderland Online’s Manufacture System avoids using up the player’s gold in vain and has added many hi-tech facilities to the skill.
Read more about Wonderland Online here.
The folks at Happymmo have sent over a description of the pet system in Elf Online.
ELF Online, one of most special adventure online game has made its first debut recently. This game has embraced a lot of elements and essences from the current and ancient culture of Orient and Occident. It will soon compete against other online games with its unique style.
ELF Online has combined the popular internet culture elements and the raising prank trend well with its creative game system and exquisite graphics will lead the non-mainstream online game to the public spotlight.
As a game with pet as its selling point, ELF Online has played more and more importance to its large scale pet system. In the former time, the pet system was monotonous in category and playing. Now, everything will be changed. ELF Online will improve its pet system.
Large number of new pets will be introduced when open beta begins. And pet’s inborn attribute will be adjusted by and large. After been improved, the pet will become stronger and the playing will be verified, and players can enjoy a new experience in it.
Pet skill tree
As the most concerned improvement of this time, pet skill will exert more effect. Players can not only control the developing direction of the pet skill, but also raise your unique superior pet innovatively on the basis of pet categories and branches. The pet skill tree will work its magic attraction and, as the operation team of ELF Online said, “lead an unprecedented perfect revolution”.
Currently, the new functions of the game have been well prepared and they will be introduced during open beta. The updated news about them will be reported to players through media every now and then. New experience in fantastic adventure world----- About more information, please head to official website of ELF Online
Read more about Elf Online here.
MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood took some time in this editorial to talk about some of the most memorable news days of 2007.
2007 was an interesting news year for those of us who follow the MMORPG industry. With the calendar now showing 2008, it seemed like a good time to sit back and reflect on some of the biggest news stories of the last year:
January 16th, 2007
Blizzard released the first full expansion for their colossal MMORPG, World of Warcraft. The expansion, dubbed “The Burning Crusade”, added new areas, new content, new classes, new features, and even a pair of new races (Blood Elves for the Horde and Draenei for the Alliance).
The real story for the release of this expansion though was the retail frenzy that it created. Shortly after launch day (which began at midnight on the 16th, with people lined up for hours at their local game stores), Blizzard announced that they had “broken the day-one sales record to become the fastest-selling PC game ever in North America and Europe, with a worldwide total of nearly 2.4 million copies sold in the first 24 hours of availability.”
The outstanding success of the expansion and the continued growth of Warcraft’s player base in 2007 resulted in the announcement of a new expansion for the King of MMOs titled, Wrath of the Lich King”.
Read the whole thing here.
Ingle Games has announced the release of the 7125 patch for Phoenix Dynasty Online which includes a number of changesto the game's quests.
Phoenix Dynasty Online has just released its New Year 7125 Patch – Prolog: Phoenix Returns. In this patch, not only does PDO embrace much amelioration but also several unique quest campaigns are added in the game.
The patch contains the following changes and brand new functions:
Since Chinese pinyin names are very hard to remember and the names cause a lot of troubles to our players, we updated the names of NPCs, cites and some monsters. Hopefully this change will let you play this game more easily.
A lot of players stated in our forum that the quest description is not friendly to them. We have taken your suggestions very seriously and have updated the quest description. Now the description of states' quests is more detailed. Coordinates of NPC, Boss Mobs are marked in each quest. Because of these modifications, the quests will be easier to handle and you can play with greater efficiency in the game world.
We also made a satisfying increase of the experience of every States' Quests. You will gain abundant experience after finishing your quest since this patch. You will get to another level or even several levels in the blink of an eye!
We also increased the reputation points gained by completing quests. With higher reputation, you can participate in more activities in Phoenix Dynasty Online.
Elemental magic is a major change in the new patch. Players could only gain elemental magic by killing the monsters in the Elemental Fairy Realm in the previous version. Now, you will gain it and learn the new skills directly after you’ve completed the Skill Training Quest. It will save you a lot of time in Elemental Fairy Realm.
Read more here.