The upcoming MMOG ArchLord has announced that they will be abandoning the PLAYplus model for pricing in favor of a more typical monthly fee. The following FAQ explains this in more detail.
What was the point of PLAYplus?
The objective of PLAYplus was simple; offer players of ArchLord an innovative payment system that not only rewards committed players with additional credits each month but also dramatically reduces the cost of the ongoing monthly subscription for the cheaper priced packages within the game.
What was behind the decision to change PLAYplus?
We place extremely high value on the thoughts and opinions of the members of our community and over previous weeks have been consulting them on their reactions to the PLAYplus system. As a result of this consultation we took the community feedback on board and decided to cancel the system with immediate effect switching therefore to a traditional flat ongoing monthly subscription.
How did you test the system?
We introduced the PLAYplus system into the ArchLord BETA before giving our players a number of days to test the system before we issued a survey requesting their feedback. We also sought out opinion from the official forums and then consolidated this feedback before we reached our final decision to cancel the PLAYplus system with immediate effect.
So what is the new system?
ArchLord will still contain the Chantra shop, the in-game shop in which players can use their credits to purchase the various character enhancements. However, players will now pay a set figure per month of UK £8.99, US $14.99, Europe €12.99 (plus applicable taxes where relevant). For this players will receive the same amount of Credits so everyone playing the game will be on a level playing field. The only way that players will be able to get additional credits will be through pre-organized competitions and special events.
What are these Credits used for now?
The credits are a reward to ALL players that can be used to purchase a range of in-game consumable enhancements that can be used to improve your character in the game. You will NOT be able to buy armour, weapons or other items, but you can cash in your credits for a range of consumable enhancements designed to assist your in-game progression. To clarify there are no time limits on the credits and unspent credits will roll over into the next month but it’s important to also emphasize that ALL players will receive the same amount of credits each month.
Is there another way to get credits?
There will be additional ways to get credits. At the moment this will be mainly through competitions, promotions and such events. We are looking closely at other ways we can use the ArchLord credit system to reward players but nothing has been decided as yet.
For more on ArchLord click here.
We speak to Jung-Hun Kwag of Joymax about the progress of the MMORPG they launched this year to a gloabl audience from the GNGWCs in Suwon, South Korea.
| The game is free to play, but allows players to buy things like accelerated experience gain, pets, potions, scrolls, character customization and other non-essential parts of the game. Most of which, added Jung-Hun Kwag of Joymax, were available for free players to earn as well.
"It's a matter of convenience," explained Kwag. "Our system is about freedom of choice."
They insist that it is possible to anything any other player does in the game without ever investing a cent, it will just take a little bit longer. For this reason, they believe their game is fairly advertised as free.
Read more here.
ArchLord has dropped their original plan for a PLAYplus payment method in favor of a more traditional monthly fee structure. This is due to the feedback recieved from testers and the community during the game's beta test.
The race to become ArchLord commences this October, single monthly subscription package announced.
Thursday, 28th September (2pm UK) – ArchLord™, the MMORPG where one player will rule the world, [will ship to stores in North America on October 3rd] will launch on Friday 6th October, Codemasters Online Gaming confirmed today. It is also announced that the game’s subscription package will now follow the traditional standard monthly MMO payment model rather than the proposed PLAYplus system, which was tested within the game’s beta phase.
The PLAYplus payment system allowed players to choose from a range of monthly subscription packages, each offering different levels of in-game incentives at varying price points. Following experimentation with the system within the beta test and monitoring the feedback from thousands of ArchLord community members, the PLAYplus system will not be implemented for the game’s release.
ArchLord will now launch with a standard monthly subscription of UK £8.99, US $14.99, Europe €12.99 (plus applicable taxes). The single monthly subscription will also include free credits for all players to redeem against in-game enhancements. All players will receive the same amount of credits as part of the single monthly subscription, providing a level playing field for all subscribers.
Ed Relf, Director of Marketing, Codemasters Online Gaming, commented: “We have listened to our community and delivered. From the start of the test of the PLAYplus system, we had an open dialogue with players to monitor reactions to the system. Thanks to their feedback and continued support, we are pleased to confirm that ArchLord will now launch with a single standard subscription package.
“Here at Codemasters Online Gaming we place great importance on our open dialogue with players and our ability to react positively to their constructive feedback. We wish to thank all players that spent time testing PLAYplus and the detailed feedback they provided us, which assisted in reaching the final subscription decision.”
Codemasters Online Gaming is currently evaluating a series of other additional in-game benefits to reward the games most loyal players with more details to follow soon. There are still places left in the ArchLord beta for the final week, to join the beta test pre-order ArchLord now by visiting www.archlordgame.com/preorder
For more on Archlord click here.
Sad news today from Danish developers Runestone. Seed, their non-combat MMORPG, is soon closing its doors after a few months of service. The company has simply run out of money. Below is a letter from CEO Lars Kroll Kristensen.
We’ve reached the end of the road [September 28, 2006]
Open letter to the community
For the past two months, I and a few others have attempted to sell a partnership deal to a long list of publishers and MMO companies, trying to raise the capital we needed to finish the game properly, and re-launch it in a form it, and especially you the community, deserve. While we have received a great deal of interest, we have not been able to close a deal. The harsh reality is that we have now officially run out of money, and out of options, and therefore, we cannot pay salaries, rent or hosting fees.
What this means to you, is unfortunately that you will only be able to play Seed for a very limited time. We will have a little “goodbye” ceremony this Sunday at 20 CEST. I will be there, in the garden, as Magellan. He was the first character online, and he will be the last. I hope some of you guys will be there too, even if the occasion is sad. After that day, the servers may be less stable and reliable, and AD GMs will only be online on their own free time, if at all. Same goes for Runestone Staff.
For us, it means that the dream of Seed and Runestone is over. It has been a wild, weird ride, full of frustration, triumph, joy, stress and fun, but never boredom. We have all learned incredibly much about game development, the gaming business and MMOs.
We’ve made some major mistakes, and some smart moves along the way, but in the end, we simply tried to do too much, with too few funds, which I guess is a typical “Rookie”, and even veteran error.
I, for one, would do it all over again, although I would do a great many things differently next time around.
For the MMO community and business as such, the rise and fall of Runestone probably doesn’t mean that much, but I hope MMO execs out there reading this letter will draw the *right* conclusions from Runestone and Seed, and *not* the wrong ones.
One thing I would hate to see happen as a result of our failure would be a consensus forming that the idea about a non-combat, role play-centric MMO is a bad idea.
I am still fully convinced that a role play-centric game is not only a good idea: It’s a great idea. It just needs to be better executed. Seed has many of the right qualities for such a game, and I still firmly believe that, given sufficient funding, we could have created a great game.
Unfortunately, we will never know.
We’ve reached the end of the road, and to all those of you who have followed us along this wild, weird ride I say a big, big thank you. It’s been a pleasure serving you our game, and your constant faith in us has been a major morale booster when times seemed tough.
I hope Seed gave you some enjoyment, some great times and some fun along the way, maybe even some new friends. I hope you will demand more from your future games in terms of role playing with other players, and in terms of player influence in the world.
‘Cause that’s what role playing games and role playing communities are all about. The people playing them.
Lars Kroll Kristensen
You can find out more on the Seed website.
The recent Game&Game World Championships took place in Suwon, South Korea and MMORPG.com was there. Today, we feature photographs from the competition and events surrounding it.
The crowd at the GNGWC Grand Final Reception.
An ice sculpture at the GNGWC2006 reception.
VIPs cut the ribbon for GoSuwon 2006 and the GNGWC2006.
You can view the full gallery here.
Kevin Kim is the CEO of OnNet USA, the developers of Shot Online for North America. During a recent trip to Suwom, South Korea we met with him to discuss his golf MMOG that was featured in the GNGWC hosted by KIPA.
| MMORPG.com had the chance to attend the GameNGame World Championships in Suwon, South Korea last week. The event was the finals of a world-wide tournament for three Korean games: Silkroad Online, Gunbound and Shot Online. Over the next few days, we will bring you articles on Silkroad and the event itself, but today, we get started with a focus on Shot Online.
Shot Online is developed by OnNet and the North American version maintained by OnNet USA. In Korea, the CEO of OnNet USA Kevin Kim met with MMORPG.com to discuss his online sports RPG.
Shot Online is an MMO Sports game. Players advance their characters skills, items and abilities by playing golf. While things like force and accuracy are decided by character skill, the player has to make the decisions themselves. In effect, you can hit harder than Tiger Woods, but if you aim the ball at the woods, it won’t do you any good. The game requires an interesting combination of player and character skill.
You can read more here.
The Cryptic Studios website has been updated with some more information about today's announcement that they will be working with Microsoft and Marvel on the upcoming Marvel Universe Online. The first comes in the form of a letter to Cryptic's fans, expounding on the variety of possibilities for the superhero genre in MMORPGs. The second is a FAQ that answers many of hte questions that are on the minds of gamers. Notably addressing the question of why they are working with a company (Marvel) that tried to sue them two years ago.
When we saw the opportunity to work with Marvel to create their super hero universe, we couldn’t resist. We love comic book heroes. The masked hero genre started over sixty years ago. Its stories, characters and themes have changed with our society. Nearly every type of story imaginable has found its way into the colorful pages of a comic book. That’s one of the main reasons that we feel that there’s plenty of room for more than just one comic book hero game in the MMORPG space. Fans will have an option about the world they will play in, just like they do with the half dozen fantasy titles available. Cryptic prides itself in creating games that we are passionate about based on genres that we know and enjoy. We were excited to find out that Cryptic and Microsoft shared the same vision for a massively multiplayer game based in the Marvel universe, rich with storylines and characters we’ve all grown up with.
Each universe provides players unique characters to play. City of Heroes allowed players to bring their characters into a generic comic book setting. We specifically wanted CoH/V to be broad enough to appeal to the genre as a whole, rather than any specific portion of it. We’re fully committed to City of Heroes and City of Villains. They are our first games, in a universe we devised. These products are the foundation upon which Cryptic is built. Cryptic and NCSoft are jointly investing in a team dedicated solely to creating and maintaining City of Heroes and City of Villains. We will continue to update both titles with new content, including a multi-year storyline, gameplay systems, missions, and much, much more. As a company, we are dedicated to our fans and plan to implement often requested ideas and features. For example, Issue 9 brings to City of Heroes and City of Villains a huge new gameplay system: Inventions. Players will be able to craft Enhancements and Costume pieces for their characters using recipes, and salvage what they find while adventuring.
Compared to the fantasy MMO games, the possibilities for the comic book hero universe are grossly untapped. Creating two worlds that will grow in their own ways means the true potential of the comic book hero MMO can come into its own. For the “City of” games, this expansion of the market probably means an influx of new MMO players who have heard of the Marvel characters but not “City of Heroes,” and will likely try both.
Are you taking resources away from CoH/CoV?
Cryptic has a team of programmers, artists, designers, and producers dedicated solely to creating and maintaining both products. The studio will continue to update both titles with new content, including a multi-year storyline, a new gameplay system that allows characters to craft Enhancements and Costume pieces, brand new missions, and much, much more.
How many people at Cryptic will be devoted to the CoH/CoV team?
Our current team is as large as the one who developed City of Heroes. The team is, and will remain, separate from the team working on the Marvel MMO with Microsoft.
What’s the future for City of Heroes/Villains?
We are absolutely committed to our loyal fans of City of Heroes and City of Villains. We are dedicating our own resources to keep both games exciting and fresh for our players for years to come. As a company, we’re thrilled at the prospects of the City franchise. It shows no signs of going away! We have plans to continue its growth for years to come.
Is the new Marvel title going to replace CoH/CoV?
No! The comic book hero is its own genre, capable of supporting multiple titles, just like fantasy. Currently there are numerous successful fantasy massively online games in the market, and we are confident that the market can support more than one game based on the pages of comic books.
Do you think there’s room for two super hero MMORPG’s?
The MMO market has proven to be more expansive and mainstream than ever. There is definitely room in the market for both titles. It’s like saying Half-Life would kill Quake, or Halo kill Unreal.
What will differentiate the Marvel game and CoH/CoV?
We haven’t announced details on the Marvel title, but it will be a very different game in terms of gameplay and visuals from the “City of” games. The storylines and the challenges characters will face from them will be very different. The Marvel game is focused on, well, the Marvel Universe. As comic book and movie fans already know, Marvel has its own unique style that sets it apart from the other comic book publishers. Our goal is to distil the Marvel experience and put that into the game. We’re also developing the Marvel game as a title for Windows Vista and the Xbox 360 – which presents us with a set of new hurdles in technology and design. We’re starting off at a completely different point than we did with City of Heroes.
Are you planning to exclusively make comic book hero games?
No – this particular partnership was something rather unique. We are, however, a company dedicated to making great MMORPG’s.
Why are you working with Marvel after they sued you two years ago?
Marvel holds the best intellectual properties, and we’re the best developer of MMO games. It’s a match made in heaven. At the end of the day, when two creative organizations are passionate about their visions sometimes sparks fly. The suit with Marvel was settled amicably long ago, and we’re excited about working together.
Why not work with NC Soft?
NC Soft and Cryptic continue to have a great relationship; we are jointly supporting and growing City of Heroes and City of Villains. Because Cryptic is an independent developer, we’re always looking for good projects with strong publishers that will bring our great gameplay to our customers.
Dave "Kawika" Bonnewell introduces himself to the MMORPG.com readers with this first article. Titled "Pirates vs. Ninjas", Bonnewell chats about the kind of MMORPG he is most excited about.
|Anyway, as much as I wanted to make this article about Pirates versus Ninjas, I came to my senses and instead made it a point to plop down in front of my often abused, but never neglected laptop and turned on the plasma TV right next to it--yes, I got it goin' on like that. Then I popped in a DVD of the creative genius that is Aqua Teen Hunger Force and poured myself a double shot of Starbucks' finest. My tools of the trade in place, I dug deep into the spongy goop encased within my lopsided cranium (at least I think that's the reason for those copious leers I get from passersby on the street) and scooped out the idea for the title. I guess I won't be using that spoon to eat with anymore. Well, I do have your attention and a belly full of caffeine at least for the time being on both accounts, so I'll continue.|
For more of his rantings, click here.
Following today's announcement that Cryptic Studios would be developing the new Marvel MMORPG, Marvel universe Online, NCsoft released the followwing statement expressing that they will continue to work with Cryptic Studios on the already exisiting super-hero franchinse, City of Heroes / City of Villains.
NCsoft has no response regarding the business dealings of an independent company such as Cryptic Studios, however, NCsoft does expect to continue working closely with Cryptic on developing and maintaining the City of Heroes and City of Villains games into the future.
NCsoft is committed to delivering to its customers the best games possible and this news from Cryptic Studios should in no way affect the high-quality product that the fans of City of Heroes and City of Villains have come to expect. The “City of” franchise recently released its seventh major content update in the summer and the next free expansion is scheduled to be released later this year. Additional details of future plans for City of Heroes and City of Villains have been spelled out by Cryptic’s lead designer, Matt Miller, in an address to the game’s community.
“The ‘City of’ franchise is an exceptional product for NCsoft and we do not expect that to change anytime soon,” said Robert Garriott, CEO of NCsoft North America. “City of Heroes and City of Villains have cornered the market on comic-book themed massively multiplayer online games and any competition for this space is several years away, so these games still have a lot of open field running to do.”
Subsequently Matt Miller, the Lead Designer for Cryptic Studios' City of Heroes and Villains released the following address to the "City of" communities, stating that they will continue to work with NCsoft on the titles in the future, looking toward issues 8, 9 and 10.
I’m coming up for air to let you know about some of the impending stuff happening in the City of Heroes and City of Villains games. It’s been pretty crazy around here getting Issue 8 ready to hit Training Room, and we hope we can bring you all some exciting news about that in the very near future.
By now you may have read about Cryptic Studios and Microsoft’s upcoming new venture and we at Cryptic want to assure our loyal players that we and the good folks at our publisher, NCsoft, are fully committed to City of Heroes and City of Villains. We have a full team of programmers, artists, designers, and producers devoted to creating and maintaining the best experience in the “City of” world of games. This team is, and will remain completely separate from other teams working on other games at Cryptic. Like fantasy, sci-fi, and simulation, comic book heroes is its own genre, capable of supporting multiple titles. City of Heroes was created with a single purpose: bring the world of comic book heroes alive. With that in mind, Cryptic is investing resources into our “City of” team to fully realize its own unique vision.
I’d like to start out by mentioning Issue 8: To Protect and Serve. This is a hero-centric Issue that finally levels the playing field between Heroes and Villains. We have a ton of stuff being added with this issue that will please a variety of players. It begins the multi-year storyline that continues next year with Issue 9 (title to be announced). I9 brings with it a huge new gameplay system: Inventions. Players will be able to craft Enhancements and Costume pieces for their characters using recipes, and salvage that they find while adventuring.
Issue 9 will also have Statesman’s Task Force, the Hero equivalent to the Recluse Strike Force. Both of these mission chains are designed for eight max-level characters and have some of the best rewards in the game.
Issue 10 is a ways out, but it will bring us an update to an old familiar villain group. This group will have their power center altered and bring about massive changes to the game as a whole. Heroes and Villains will find themselves banding together against a common threat.
We will begin to reveal our plans for Issues 11 and beyond over the next year or so. We feel confident that you will be as excited about our plans as we are!
So as you can see, we at Cryptic and NCsoft have great plans for the future and want to keep making the “City of” games exciting and fresh. Our motto going forward is “Listen to the players and give them what they want (within reason, of course)”. Expect a lot of oft-requested features and ideas to be implemented in the upcoming issues!
Microsoft and Marvel have finally revealed the game company that will develop their much-anticipated MMORPG based on the Marvel Universe, known as Marvel universe Online. The company selected may come as a surprise to many as Cryptic Studios will fill the role. Working with NCsoft, Cryptic Studios developed the first super-hero MMORPGs in City of Heroes and City of Villains.
You can read NCsoft's reaction to the story, here.
Today at X06, Xbox's annual official industry event in Barcelona, Spain, Microsoft Game Studios announced further details around its eagerly awaited project based on the Marvel universe of Super Heroes. Microsoft and Marvel Entertainment confirmed that Cryptic Studios has been named the developer of "Marvel Universe Online," the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online (MMO) video game exclusive to Xbox 360 and Windows Vista.
"The vision behind the alliance of Microsoft Game Studios, Cryptic Studios and Marvel is to expand the MMO genre and create an epic gaming experience exclusively for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista gamers to experience together online," said Frank Pape, senior director of business development, Microsoft Game Studios. "Cryptic Studios is widely respected for their established track record of innovation and understanding of the MMO space, and they are a perfect fit for the creation of the best possible experience in 'Marvel Universe Online.'"
"As an independent developer, Cryptic Studios has the freedom to make games and forge partnerships that we are truly passionate about," said Michael Lewis, president of Cryptic Studios. "Cryptic Studios and Microsoft share a common vision for online gaming and commitment to quality titles. Together we will create a new exciting game that captures the uniqueness of the Marvel IP."
David Maisel, executive vice president, Marvel Entertainment added, "The huge Marvel fan base has been eagerly awaiting new information on our massive multiplayer online game. We are proud to have a premiere developer such as Cryptic Studios who has had such incredible success in the online gaming world developing this game. Marvel, Microsoft and Cryptic are committed to creating the definitive interactive Marvel universe experience via this massive multiplayer online game."
Cryptic Studios is known as the developer of the renowned MMO titles "City of Heroes®" and "City of Villians™," and bring a history of excellence in MMO design and best-of-breed community support to the development of "Marvel Universe Online." "Marvel Universe Online" will unite gamers in a cross-platform experience, allowing for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista users to play alongside one another.
Marvel's repertoire of Super Heroes have evolved from the pages of comic books to become driving forces in entertainment, from the silver screen to television shows and best-selling video games, including "Spider-Man," "X-Men" and "The Hulk" franchises. As part of an MMO gaming experience, "Marvel Universe Online" players will be able to interact simultaneously in a truly unique atmosphere featuring all their favorite Marvel characters, creatures and villains.
With the coming of City of Heroes / City of Villains Issue 8: To Protect and Serve, comes the new Veteran Rewards Program. Loyal players will recieve rewards at the: three, six, nine and 12 month marks:
The official City of Heroes® Veteran Rewards program launches this fall with the release of Issue 8: To Protect and Serve. NCsoft and Cryptic Studios have unveiled the rewards for the first four milestones for players who have been in-game for 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.
The rewards are as follows:
3 Month Milestone: Trustworthy
At this first reward level, players unlock the ability to use trench coats on all of their characters, new and existing. Players also receive a single costume change token to take care of the cost of changing their outfit.
6 Month Milestone: Faithful
Here players unlock the ability to have Greek Alphabet chest details on all of their characters, new and existing. Again, players receive a costume change token to take care of the cost of adding this to their character costume.
9 Month Milestone: Dependable
At this point players receive the first Respec for all their characters. This respec is separate from the In-Game respecs and the “Freespecs” given out during special events. This respec is given to characters current and new, simply for having an active account for nine months or more.
This reward level also offers Male and Huge models the oft-requested “Scottish Kilt” costume option (complete with sporran). Females receive tight fitting “Belly shirts” to show off their well-toned midriffs in battle. Once again, this includes a Costume Change token to cover the costs of altering characters at the Tailor.
12 Month Milestone: Loyal
When City of Heroes launched, there were several “pre-order” bonuses that players could obtain, but each player was limited to one of these “special sprint” powers on their account. Now, with the Veteran Rewards program, players receive these bonuses after one year of subscription.
In addition, players are rewarded with several new Base Items including wall and floor mounted racks of weapons that are seen in the game like Arachnos maces and Circle of Thorn swords.
Finally there are the first of the Choice rewards. Each of the characters on player accounts with twelve or more months will receive the option of having a version of the Undead Slaying Axe or the Sands of Mu that does not expire. Each character can pick a different one, but only one is available per character.
Perpetual Entertainment's Gods and Heroes is looking for 350 new people to add to their Core Tester group. Rather than selecting randomly, or using another method, the people at Perpetual want to give players a chance to tell them why they should be testers:
We are getting ready to select 350 more people to be added to the Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising Core Tester group, and well honestly, there are a lot of people we could select to participate. To help make sure we get the right people for this first stage of Beta, we want you to tell us why you want to be selected as a Core Tester!
Here are some of the things we are looking for in a Core Tester to help this program be successful.
What does it mean to be a Core Tester?
If you feel that you possess the above traits and want to be a member of the Core Tester group, let us know and you could be chosen!
Simply send an email to Binky at email@example.com with one paragraph (250 words or less) explaining why you would make a great Core Tester!
In the email, pleas include the following:
Please submit your email by October 3rd, 2006 at Midnight. We will choose the Core Testers and alert those chosen by email no later than October 6th, 2006.
Thank you for your help!
For more on Gods & Heroes click here.
Sony Online Entertainment has released another Dev Chest for EverQuest II. The Dev Chest points players in the direction of forum posts made by the game's developers:
Sometimes it's hard to find the buried treasures contained within the EverQuest II forums. The Dev Chest highlights useful, insightful, or entertaining posts from the developers that you may want to check out. Get your treasure maps and shovels ready--we're about to discover a Dev Chest!
For more on EQII click here.
Guild Wars has announced another new double experience weekend. The event will be taking place from September 29th to October 1st:
This coming weekend, from Noon PDT on Friday, September 29 through 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, October 1, you will receive double experience from capturing elite skills. Instead of gaining 250 times your level in XP, you will receive 500 times your level. Join Guild Wars this weekend and enjoy the bonus XP.
For more on Guild Wars click here.
The good people over at Vanguard: Saga of Heroes have released a pile of new information on the races in their game. The screenshots, which you will find at the end of each section, appear in the order in which the races are listed.
*Edit: These are only races playable on the continent of Thestra, and are only a sampling of the 19 races that a re planned for the game's launch:
They live in the primitive and tribal village of Dahknarg, where they are lead by a clan chief. At the moment, they are entered in a tentative alliance with the other races of Thestra though at times tensions, especially with the elves, still run high. However, despite their beastly appearance and tribal ways the vulmane are a noble race. Honor, respect, strength and loyalty are valued in vulmane society. They are master woodsmen, fearsome warriors and once you have earned their trust and respect – valuable allies.
The vulmane have been known to be Warriors, Dread Knights, Rogues, Shamans and Druids.
The validity of that claim has yet to be established and while physically, they may most closely resemble the humans it is the lesser giants, with whom they share a home in the mountain village of Halgarad, that they have found a common interest.
They are hard working, sturdy and brave. They live their lives close to the land and live in a predominantly tribal society. The Varanjar have been known to be Warriors, Rogues, Shamans
After the invading armies of undead razed their home city of Targonor, the humans moved north and rebuilt, founding the giant fortress city of New Targonor. This bastion of human achievement protects not only the humans but all the races of Thestra. While New Targonor is the pinnacle of human civilization, most are still born in small outlaying farming villages – such as Tursh.
A Thestran human’s interests vary greatly and due to their versatile nature they often pursue a wider variety of professions than most other races. Thestran humans have been known to be Warriors, Paladins, Dread Knights, Rangers, Rogues, Bards, Clerics, Blood Mages, Sorcerers, Druids and Necromancers.
A typical high elf is of a slender build, they are pale and slightly taller than humans. They prefer to keep to themselves but realize that alone, they cannot hope to defeat the invading armies of undead and thus have made an effort to ally themselves with the rest of the Thestran races, putting aside even their legendary hatred of the wolf-like vulmane.
They make their home in the forest city of Leth Nurae. Without walls, it would seem a susceptible target to attacks but few have had the courage to try. High elves have been known to be Paladins, Dread Knights, Rangers, Rogues, Bards, Clerics, Blood Mages, Sorcerers, Druids and Necromancers.
Generally a peaceful race halflings will rarely start any sort of conflict, though when forced they will defend themselves with a surprising ferocity and resourcefulness. Their lifestyle lends itself well to agriculture and most who live in the halfling village of Rindol Field are indeed farmers. While the majority of halflings choose to stay close to their homes, it is not uncommon to see them in adventuring parties across Thestra.
Halflings have been known to be Warriors, Rangers, Rogues, Bards, Clerics and Druids.
Their home, much like themselves is sturdy and built to last. The sounds of dwarves busily forging armor and weapons with a skill and discipline that is unrivaled on Thestra can constantly be heard echoing through the grand halls of their city.
While often viewed as grumpy and dour by other races the dwarves actually have a very good sense of humor and once befriended, an unwavering sense of loyalty. They are much stronger than their size would imply and tend to lean towards more physical professions. Dwarves have been known to be Warriors, Paladins, Dread Knights, Rogues, Clerics and Sorcerers.
EA Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has released information and screenshots for two of the careers that will be available in the game. This one, the Dwarf Engineer, tries to capture the feel of the IP:
The Engineer was more challenging conceptually [than the Goblin Squig Herder]. We wanted to capture the notions of Dwarf siege equipment, inventions, and technology without turning him into a collection of mechanical gags. To this end, we focused on firepower, capitalizing on the images and concepts of Dwarf tech to arm our engineer to the teeth with tools for close to medium ranged combat. We rounded this out with the ability to assemble useful objects out of parts on hand. This allows him to enhance the firepower of his allies, and build complex traps and bombs for his own use.
Careers – Dwarf Engineer
“Alright lad, now just pull here, twist, ratchet it down like so – don’t forget to keep counting here, because you’ve got to get to the last bit before you get to five – and then throw it.”
An explosion is the ultimate form of mechanical advantage, so it’s no big surprise that the skills of the Dwarf Engineer extend well along these lines. From guns to grenades, he is a deadly ranged combatant who will pelt you with lead from afar and blast you to bits as you close in. He excels when fighting multiple opponents, as many of his explosive attacks are capable of devastating enemies who pack too closely together. The Engineer offers an outstanding blend of flexible firepower which makes him a truly deadly and clever combatant.
The only thing more deadly than a simple bomb is a complicated one, or at least that’s the way an Engineer sees things. Using nothing more than the odds and ends they have at hand, Engineers can create a broad variety of useful objects with various purposes and functions. Some of them are even safe enough to give to others. From grenades of various types to mechanical weapon upgrades, the engineer and his allies can use these devices to significantly enhance or supplement their own combat power.
Playing as a Engineer
As an Engineer, the heart of your job is to rain destruction on the heads of your enemies. Like other ranged combatants, you prefer to avoid the frontline. However, unlike most other ranged classes, you reach the peak of your power at a relatively short range. You must maneuver wisely, positioning yourself so that you can strike at your target without exposing yourself to their attacks. You are a capable melee fighter, and you can strike at extended range, but your best attacks – grenades, blunderbusses, artillery bombardment, and more – require a closer position.
Fighting the Engineer
Perhaps the best way to deal with an Engineer is to fight him from a far. If you can effectively out damage him at long range he will be at a serious disadvantage. If you must get in close, be prepared to kill him quickly. Unlike most other ranged attackers, the Engineer looses little in terms of effectiveness in close quarters. He is certainly more vulnerable than a career designed to engage in melee, but this vulnerability does not make him easy meat.
EA Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has released information and screenshots for two of the careers that will be available in the game. This one, the Goblin Squig Herder is certainly one to look at:
Squigs! Need I say more? Well I suppose I should. The Squig Herder was an easy choice when it came to Goblin careers. If the Squigs themselves weren’t enough, the notion of a small green man herding these toothy blighters about with nothing more than a whistle and a bag of treats was an easy sell. The principle of the Squig Herder is simple – take a Goblin and just add Squigs – but we needed to focus on the role he would play. We wanted to make sure that he was a valuable warrior who fulfilled an important need, and that need was dealing damage
Careers – Goblin Squig Herder
“…an’ dis one’s Chompy! Chompy’s a right devil he is! Rip a bugger right in two! See dis scar ‘ere on me arm? Dats ol’ Chompy’s ‘andywork! I’mna go grab ‘im… ”
One-on-one a Squig is no match for the likes of a Hammerer or Ironbreaker, but the problem there isn’t the match, it’s the numbers. The toothy embrace of a pack of Squigs has brought down many a hearty warrior, and a Squig pack is never more effective than in the hands of an expert Herder. Using tools ranging from pipes to goads to bits of giblets, the Squig Herder drives his minions to a killing frenzy while fighting safely behind the lines. The Herder’s own ranged fire combines with the attacks of his minions to challenge any foe.
Squig Herder Specialty
It’s all about the Squigs – at least as far as the Squig Herder is concerned – and he knows all there is to know about these feisty critters. Commanding a pack of Squigs culled from those types he has learned to train, the Squig Herder can inflict serious damage on his enemies. With experience, he can learn to tame a broad range of breeds, control more powerful Squigs, and acquire more specialized abilities such as taking direct control of his Squig. His minions will even fight on after his death, wandering off only when the battle is done.
Playing as a Squig Herder
As a Squig Herder you lead from the rear, turning your Squigs loose on the enemy and supporting them with commands, arrows and bait while safely out of harm’s way. The most critical elements of your strategy revolve around your choice of Squigs for your pack, and the abilities you use to support them. Your various breeds offer you tools for different situations, and you must mix and match them to meet your needs. Tactically speaking, your job is to kill the enemy while avoiding his counter-attacks – both you and your Squigs are deadly but fragile beasts.
Fighting the Squig Herder
The Squig Herder is essentially a fire-support career who wishes to hit you without being hit. As such, you’ll need to deny him that opportunity. Attacking him or his pets early – either one, as the pets will live on after their master’s death – is a sound strategy which will quickly reduce his damage dealing power. You must also be alert however, as Squigs can bypass your own line with their fast leaping movements and strike at your back field. You must strike a balance between the defenses you can muster against enemy melee fighters and the nasty beasts gnawing at your heals.
The Squig Herder Look
Jumpgate has just turned five years old, and to celebrate, NetDevil is going to be adding some new features to the game:
Louisville, CO – September, 26 2006 – NetDevil, Ltd., developer of the MMOG Jumpgate, is proud to announce today that Jumpgate has reached its 5th anniversary of operation in the U.S. In celebration of this occasion, NetDevil is releasing a set of brand new features over the next few updates.
“We are grateful to our dedicated players who, for five years and more, have stuck with us through it all. In appreciation for their loyalty we’re pleased to announce a new, updated, military system,” said Scott Brown, President of NetDevil.
Some of the new military features include:
“With this new update, and others in the planning stages,” continued Brown, “we look forward to many more years of continued success with our ever-devoted player base.”
For more on Jumpgate click here.
Dark and Light has released a new newsletter. The publication in full covers such categories as: graphic production (see below), Officialization of a permanent market in the world of Ganareth, The Dark and Light animations evolve and change working fashion, The next patch of Dark and Light is being tested... and Benefit from the months of free subscription in Dark and Light.
You can view the entire newsletter by clicking here.
As announced, the graphic production is still progressing to add up content. After new architectures, discover in the gallery of the Dark and Light site, the new NPCs or new mounts.
For more on Dark and Light click here.
The final AGC article is our interview with the creative mind behind Cryptic Studios: Creative Director Jack Emmert. He talks to us about City of Villains and Heroes, the upcoming add-on, the future of the studio and their other project.
| Currently, Cryptic is staffing up on a cross-platform (PC and unspecified next-generation consoles) massively-multi-player game. While Emmert was not yet able to give us much details, he did tell me specifically that the company is not worried about potential DC Comics and Marvel MMORPGs in development at Sony and Microsoft and wont avoid the genre that made them famous out of fear of being crowded out. He pointed out that there are hundreds of fantasy games and they view superhero games as a genre unto themselves. Does that mean their next-gen MMO is a superhero game? No, but it doesn’t rule it out either.
To support this project – and not hurt their bread and butter CoX franchise – they went to AGC with recruitment in mind. Unlike most established developers who require a set number of published titles and years of experience to even look at you, Emmert told us that he values intelligence over experience. He points out that he himself comes from an academic background. All potential design applicants are given a test and Cryptic doesn’t even look at the resume unless the person scores well: published titles or not.
Read the rest here.