Turbine has announced the launch of Module 8: Prisoners of Prophecy, the latest major update for Dungeons and Dragons Online, which revamps the new player area, adds hirelings into the mix, and more.
Turbine, Inc. today announced the launch of the latest update for players of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE®: Stormreach® (DDO), Prisoners of Prophecy. This major update to DDO delivers a completely upgraded experience for new players, improves solo play with the introduction of Hirelings, upgrades the DDO engine to support DX-10 graphics technology, and adds more monsters, spells, magic items, and challenging dungeons. Prisoners of Prophecy continues Turbine’s commitment to delivering fun, engaging and exciting updates for players in its online worlds. This latest update provides a wealth of new features and experiences for players including:
Ø Enhanced New Player Experience: To support a more story-based and friendly introduction to the game and make DDO more accessible to players unfamiliar with the 3.5 Edition rules-set, we have created a completely new starter experience. Players will now have the option to create well-built characters based on their play style without needing to assign any stat or skill points, or select any feats or spells. Subsequent characters created on the account will have the option to skip the tutorial, and will gain relevant XP and rewards as if they had completed it.
Ø Introducing Hirelings: Hirelings is a huge new system designed to improve the solo play experience in DDO by letting players contract henchmen to help them in their adventures. Hirelings are player controlled NPC combatants with a given class, level and personality that can be contracted to aid a player in the dungeons of Stormreach. Players can contract with one Hireling of their level or lower for a few hours at a time, or until the adventure they are playing is complete. This massive new system will be introduced to players through a series of live in-game events after the launch of Prisoners of Prophecy.
Ø DX-10 Engine Upgrade: Players can now experience Stormreach like never before with major improvements to DDO’s graphics engine, including DX-10 support for upgraded shaders for water, particle effects and lighting for terrain.
Ø More D&D®!: A new wilderness area and several high-level dungeons await players who dare to meet the challenge of new monsters including Kobold Archmages, Frost Giants and a White Dragon.
Read more here.
The folks at Tabula Rasa have announced the addition of several new view modes in Tabula Rasa, including first person or fps view, scope views, mech cockpit view, and more.
Heck ya! It's Halloween and it's time for some tricks and treats arriving on a planet near you. First, I'll give a trick. If you eat a whole bag of candy, you are way more effective in combat. I just head-butted a Thrax soldier outside my office. Well, it could have been a co-worker dressed in a Thrax suit, but it serves him right.
Now for the treats! First, what is better than blasting some Bane with your trusty shotty? How about blasting some Bane with your trusty shotty in a first person view? With a FPS view, you can finally get all up-close and personal with your favorite lobster. Just wear your bib because things get pretty messy.
Read more here.
MMORPG.com Age of Conan Correspondent Ben Avery recently spoke with members of two Age of Conan Guilds, on in North America and one in Europe, to get their opinions on a number of issues relevant to the game as it is now and since launch.
In Part One, Ben talks to Mental Block, from the North American guild Primal Instinct.
Age of Conan is fast approaching the 5 months old mark. It released amidst a huge wave of hype. Is the game currently living up to the hype from the minds of its current player base? Did that wave of hype crash down and drown everyone? Is the game the same as it was at release? Has it gotten worse or better?
These are some of the questions that I hope to bring answers to in today’s Age of Conan state of the game Guild Q&A. One of the main reasons for doing this is to get some perspective from the current player base that has been in since launch. I thought ‘what better way to do this than to ask directly’! It’s also important to ask the right questions to get a clearer perspective for those interested. I have chosen two guilds to start – one from the European servers and one from the North American continent servers. These guilds are active in game, are known on their servers and have some good insight. I hope this comes across as adequate and unbiased enough for the critics and a decent enough read for the casual browser. As the questions asked are to the leaders and guild members alike, it should portray a good representation of where we are up to today with Age of Conan. We have one large guild and one average sized, both from a PvP and PvE perspective. As time goes on I might be doing more of these to getter a better feel of the truer state of the game.
Check out Ben's interview.
Turbine has posted the next installment of their dev journal series which looks into upcoming changes to the Ettenmoors with the Mines of Moria expansion for Lord of the Rings Online.
The Delving of Frór
We discussed accessing the Delving of Frór in our dev diary focusing on the landscape changes to the Ettenmoors; we should expand on this a little more here.
There are five outposts in the Ettenmoors. Each of these is controlled by the forces of the Delving of Frór and must be captured by players or monster players to gain access to the Delving, which is achieved when players or monster players control two of the five outposts. This fundamental change means that players and monster players can share access to the Delving of Frór. This should bring an interesting dynamic to the dungeon found in the Ettenmoors.
No changes have been made to the fights, layout or monsters present within the Delving, though we have increased the levels of all monsters found within to equate to the new level limits on players and monster players. In addition to these changes, we have also added a new barter item which drops from two of the main enemies, the rogmul Gaergoth and the drake matron, within the Delving of Frór. These new items are necessary to purchase new rewards which can be gained for participating in battle within the Ettenmoors (we’ll highlight these rewards at the end of the dev diary).
Read more here.
The folks at Darkfall have posted an update on the games status on their official forums, mentioning while showing at the Athens Digital Week that the game would finish testing in December and at that point the game would be ready for release.
The announcement during ADW was that the open beta phase is scheduled to end early in December. More importantly this means that the game will be ready to release at that point. Marketing consideration kept us from just announcing a release date. The game will be ready for release, and the launch may follow directly, or shortly after, depending on the marketing landscape at the time. Obviously the earlier the better for us, but there are a lot of things needing coordination for the launch, internal and external. So our side of things (meaning the development end) will be ready.
Read more here.
The folks at the Chronicles of Spellborn have published a new video which looks into the full environment of the city of Hawksmouth in the game's starting area.
Hawksmouth, the starting city of your adventures in The Chronicles of Spellborn has been shown in screenshots already, but pictures can't really convey the unique atmosphere and ambiances the city is oozing with.
In this video, named "Hawksmouth Soundscapes" we would like to invite you to see how the city and its neighbouring forest really are in-game, with their sounds, inhabitants, and wildlife.
So sit back, relax, grab a cup of your favorite drink, and let yourself be transported to the city of Hawksmouth.
Read more here.
Blizzard has posted the results of their annual Pumpkin Carving Contest.
Blizzard's 2008 Pumpkin Contest Winners
The top five pumpkins in our annual pumpkin carving contest have been selected - congratulations to the winners! The level of creativity and competition is increasing every year, with 2008 fielding the deepest pool of entries yet. Enjoy our special photo gallery where you can view the winning entries and the 18 honorable mentions.
Read more here.
KingsIsle Entertainment has announced that they are offering several different payment models for Wizard101, including free-to-play, micro payment, and subscription.
Plano, Texas -- Nov 03, 2008 -- Online entertainment company KingsIsle Entertainment today launched a new payment option that essentially lets players of the company's new virtual world, Wizard101 (www.wizard101.com) decide for themselves which game payment plan suits them best, whether it's via monthly subscription or micropayment. Each of the four imaginative 3D worlds currently in Wizard101 contains zones that are now individually unlockable through micropayment. A considerable amount of game content remains free to play.
"A parent can reward a child with days of entertainment content for the price of a pack of gum... and at the same time someone who regularly meets up with their friends in Wizard101 may elect to get full access up front, and save by subscribing," said KingsIsle Entertainment CEO Elie Akilian.
Designed to fill the void between online play sites for the very young and MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games with mature adult interaction, Wizard101 puts players in the fantasy role of a wizard apprentice at the Ravenwood School of Magical Arts. The game's colorful creative look, family-friendly features and immersive game play have made the site a popular online destination since launch in September. Players can choose to play in three economic formats:
1. At the basic level, Wizard101 is free-to-play for as long as players choose.
2. Subscriptions provide advanced gameplay access for a monthly fee. Prices start at $6.95 per account per month for multiple accounts on the family plan, or $9.95 per month for the regular subscription. All items will be available to subscribers via in-game gold or item drops.
3. The micropayment system now allows individual streets or "zones" to be unlocked for as little as $1.00. Players purchase packages of in-game currency called Crowns to buy zones or items in the game. A volume discount is available based on the number of Crowns purchased.
Read more here.
The folks at Archlord have announced that they'll be launching a new server with a special hardcore PvP rule set.
Monday, 3rd November (2pm GMT) – Codemasters Online is excited to announce the forthcoming introduction of their all-new ArchLord hardcore PvP server Cyripus.
Due to popular demand and the hugely growing player-base of the 100% free MMORPG, Codemasters Online are opening the new server with focus on player vs player (PvP) combat for both new and existing players alike to battle it out in this epic, siege-focused MMORPG.
To celebrate the launch of Cyripus, Codemasters Online are running a number of in-game events to challenge their already eagerly awaiting players; from “First ArchLord”, to various in-game levelling contests, seeing players from all over Europe and N. America competing within various in-game categories. Many prizes are up for grabs for players competing on the new server with full details of these events and how players can take part on the game’s official website www.archlordgame.com
Ed Relf, Director, Marketing, Codemasters Online commented, “This is a hugely significant development for ArchLord. The new server has been brought online to cope with the massively increasing demand for the game. We are still attracting tens of thousands of new players each week and with almost ¾ million players now registered, there’s never been a better time to play this great free-to-play MMO.”
ArchLord is a premier free-to-play online role-playing game allowing players to download and play the game for free with no monthly subscriptions or commitments. The online game challenges thousands of players each month to raise an army, to compete to become the game’s all-ruling ArchLord and with it control of the entire game world impacting on the lives of thousands of ArchLord players.
Read more here.
The folks at Wonderland Online have announced that the game will be getting a new server with the release of the next version of the game.
The Wonderland Online Team (http://wl.igg.com/main.php) has announced that the Wonderland Online’s 8th Server - Scorpio will be here at the same time as the new version—Fairy’s Whisper.
The new version will be feature the release of the Rebirth System, Mercenary System, Forging System, Fairy Skills, four new civilization maps and much, much more… Surely, players will have a whole new Wonderland experience to look forward too!
Read more here.
IGG has published an overview of Palm base, one of the new locations added to Angels Online with the game's Lost Atlantis expansion.
Located to the northwest of Eden, there is a large blue sea where Angels begin their adventure in the Lost Atlantis. The Lost Atlantis offers players 13 distinct, charming field scenes. After players get to know more about the new expansion, they will find more attractive underwater scenes.
Today, the Angels Online team from IGG has been kind enough to take some time to give a brief introduction about the new city “Palm Base”.
Palm Base Overview
Located in the middle of the southern part of Puqi Island, it is a new base surrounded by oceans and islands. Coco trees are lush and green here. The blue coastline extends to the boundary of Puqi Island. Some shells are scattered along the beach and shine in the warm sunlight. They look like stars in the sky. Players can also find some giant crabs and Color Whelks near the coast.
Built by excellent scientists from the Iron Castle, the base is outstanding because of its defense and attack abilities. It is divided into 5 parts, including four special parts for the four factions around the base and a part for commerce and sightseeing in the middle. The northern area for the Shadow faction is evil and imposing. The eastern one for the Steel faction is impressive due to its defensive abilities and high-tech feel. The southern one for the Breeze faction flourishes with a sense of vitality everywhere. Respectable knights go the rounds in the western area for the Aurora faction.
In the middle of the base, there are four faction totems and officers from the Holy Battlefield. Many Angels come from a great distances to gather here and prepare for their underwater exploration.
As one of the most important maps in the new expansion, Palm Base is a transfer station which symbolizes the harmonious blend of the four factions. Players can find a Trainer, Repairman, Pet Master, Healing Seller and other NPCs in the base. What’s more, players can accept primary quests from their factions’ NPCs.
Read more here.
MMORPG.com Final Fantasy XI Correspondent has put togther this little overview guide for playes who might be new to SquareEnix's Final Fantasy XI. The second part of the guide moves players through some early quests and into the realm of sub-jobs.
Once you’ve created your character and chosen a profession to excel in, the game is relatively straight-forward for the next ten levels. The first part of the guide was focused on getting started in the game, and in this part I’ll cover getting to the first partying area(s), some basic quests for the beginner, and provide an outline for how to unlock and utilize your Support Job. So what are you waiting for? Grab a weapon and get killing out there!
Black and White Mages will have the roughest time in the first real test of your ability, levels 1-10. This task is simple enough, and shouldn’t take more than a day to accomplish, especially with the boosts you should be getting from your Tutorial NPC. No starting area has many advantages over any other in terms of combat and monsters, so basing your character creation off where you will be spending the beginning of your game doesn’t have much of a point. As you level however, you’ll undoubtedly need funds to proceed in gathering spells, weapons, armor, and possibly food, and there are some lower level quests in each starting city to assist newcomers.
Check out the guide.
MMORPG.com Warhammer Online Correspondent John Lisenby writes this guide for players in the Greenskin starting area, going over available quests and more.
Here is a complete guide to the starting area of the Greenskins. It will carry you from Da Start where you first spawn into the game, through Stunty Mountain ending you up at Stouts' Pens which is the next questing area. You will find coordinates for where things are located and any special notes for each quest. There is no special order the quests are in. I just listed them as I did them.
If you take a quest you can always find out where it is by checking your map "M" key. By default the setting are set to show the quest tracker on the UI and the quest location on the map. The quest location is marked by a red cicle around the area where the quest is or the next part of the quest.
Check out the greenskin starting zone guide
MMORPG.com and PI Engineering have teamed up to bring you an exciting new contest! From Nov 1, 2008 to Dec 1, 2008 @ 9PM EST we will be accepting entries into a random drawing where we will give away 7 prizes - many exciting products from the X-Keys lineup! All you need to enter is a free MMORPG.com account and to fill out the form below.
Full Prize List:
When you are ready to enter this great contest, click this link!
Turbine has posted a new dev journal which takes a look at the Legendary Item System which will be implemented in Lord of the Rings Online with the game's first expansion, The Mines of Moria.
Hey folks! For those of you who may not know me, my moniker is Vastin, and I have had the honour of serving as one of the content designers on The Lord of the Rings Online™ since its launch last year. I've been in the game development industry for many years – some of you may have played some of my older projects, such as WarCraft 2: Beyond the Black Portal, or Heroes of Might & Magic 2: The Price of Loyalty, but for the last few years I've been quietly and happily toiling away here in the world of LOTRO.
My usual role is in the design of most of the Deeds and supporting the system of Landmarks that helps you find camps and points of interest throughout the world, with a secondary role in quest design within each of our releases – my more significant quest contributions in the past have been the quests in the eastern Misty Mountains and in the western forests of Evendim.
For our first expansion, I have once again done many of the core Deeds and Landmarks for Moria, but got a hand from some of our other designers to fill out others, such as the Instance-based Deeds. This left me a decent chunk of time to try my hand again at the art of quest design, particularly the content that was needed to help support the Legendary Item system introduced in Mines of Moria™.
Read more here.
NDOORS Interactive has announced the official launch of their free to play MMOPRG, Atlantica Online.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Oct. 30, 2008 – NDOORS Interactive’s free-to-play MMO has launched. Atlantica Online brings classic turn-based RPG combat combined with deep strategic gameplay to the online multiplayer world.
Atlantica Online’s combat system draws inspiration from traditional RPG gameplay and merges it with heavy strategic game elements with the mercenary and nation management systems to set it apart in the MMO world.
The turn-based combat gives players the chance to plan complex battle strategies as they control a party of up to 9 characters. Players can also form groups with two other players for a total of 27 characters in battle. Pre-battle planning will also be essential to success. Players must pick the optimal combination of party members called mercenaries to bring into a fight. This allows gamers to craft a different combat set-up for each battle and take advantage of hundreds of possible skill combinations.
With the mercenary system, players will recruit and develop mercenaries of different classes for their combat squad. Players must plan how to best spend their limited resources to obtain the optimal mix for their play style. They will be faced with decisions like would it be better to recruit a new healer, an additional ranged DPS or should they upgrade the armor for their existing front line tanks. Players will also need to lay long-term development plans to maximize the skill combinations of multiple characters as they level.
The nation management system allows guilds to plan the conquest of cities and even whole nations. More complex than simply engaging in PvP combat, guilds must oversee complex economies to keep their conquests strong. While managing a town, they plan everything from culture, commerce and industry, even down to the placement of buildings for the maximum output. Successful rulers are rewarded with rare items.
Along with Atlantica’s official launch, the game’s item mall has opened. The item mall contains many different power-ups, licenses and scrolls to aid players in their journey to Atlantis. Players can also take advantage of deals to get these items at a discounted rate. Items range from $5-$20, with 100 Gcoins equaling $1. Purchased items are transferred directly into a player’s accounts
Read more here.
The folks at Zero Online have announced the release of patch 2819 for the game which adds a new fleet war map, a duel mode, enhanced gear, and more.
We would like to announce that patch 2819 will be released on October 30, 2008 at 00:01 PDT (GMT-8). With this patch, you can enjoy the features as below:
1. Duel Mode: Under this PK mode, two players can PK each other within a specific small area without consuming anything. After the combat, all the attributes will be back to normal.2. Strengthened Chips: Players have chances to get Defense Chip, HP Chip and Dodge Chip from the Othello invaders. All these three chips can be composed with cores to strengthen the corresponding attributes.
3. New Auxiliary Programs: No.86, No.234, No.256, No.257 and No.339 cores' Auxiliary Programs will be unlocked.
4. Remote Booth: Booth owner can pay Galaxy Gold to start the remote booth system and customers can remotely view and buy the items sold in the booth..
5. Buddy System: Players can be instantly teleported to rescue their buddies when they are in jeopardy. In addition, buddies can share potency from each other according to the loyalty level.
Read more here.
The folks at Enjoymmo Games have announced details of their Halloween events in Legend of Golden Plume, Phoenix Dynasty Online, and Magic World Online.
Halloween is almost upon us, keeping this in mind we have decided to join the fun! On the one epic day every year where ghosts and ghouls come out to play, Enjoymmo Games has chosen to keep with Halloween tradition by releasing Special events for Magic World Online, Phoenix Dynasty Online, and Legend of Golden Plume. Each game will have different events at different times so check out the schedule below and come join us!
Magic World Online:
October 31st – All day
We have modified the Level 1 Pandora Box to give out Transmutation stones at a higher rate, allowing players to turn into NPC’s and Monsters alike.
Phoenix Dynasty Online:
October 31st - 9:30pm and 10:30pm (PST)
GMs will appear in Phoenix Village, sending free pumpkin hats as the gifts for Halloween; all the players coming to the site will receive the gift. In addition, we will double the item drop rate in the following week to your gain!
Legend of Golden Plume:
October 30th - November 1st (PST)
Collect as many candies as you can. During the event time, all monsters will drop Jack’s Candy and Jack’s Cookie at a certain rate. Every 5 minutes, you have 30% chance of meeting with a “Trick-or-treater“. Give him his favorite candies or cookies, and he’ll give you a big surprise, or he is going to follow you everywhere until you enter Golden Plume City.