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General : MMOWTF: The Waiting Game

Posted Aug 10, 2007 by Jon Wood

Weekly MMORPG.com columnist Dan Fortier talks about what happens to MMORPG players when we're waiting for our next big game.

It seems to me that MMO players spend a lot of time waiting for something cool to happen. You wait for your group; wait for a spawn; wait for a specific drop; wait for that item to finish being crafted...the list goes on and on. We seem to define our game experience by the amount of time it takes us to do something and it's not uncommon for a player to spend far more than half of his online time just waiting for the cool part of the game to start. This article, however, is going to spare you that tired rant and focus on another waiting game that is just as common: Waiting for a game you've been watching to be released. Join me on a little textual adventure this week as we quest for answers to the secrets behind the Waiting Game.

Read the whole column here.

Guild Wars : Region Profile, Rata Sum

Posted Aug 10, 2007 by Jon Wood

In the second of three features, Guild Wars: Eye of the North and MMORPG.com present this Region Profile on Rata Sum and the Asura, who inhabit it.

The Asura of the Tarnished Coast are a brilliant, if diminutive, people who dwelled, until recently, within the Depths of Tyria, where they regularly dealt with Dwarves, Dredge, and other underground races. However, a dangerous race from even deeper within the world--the Destroyers--overran their subterranean homes, forcing them to the surface. Now, the Asura must learn to survive in a hostile, strange, and all-too-brightly-lit world. Still, the surviving population is of two minds--half of them long for a return to their underground empires, while the other half believe their former lands are lost forever, that their future lies among the strange races of the surface world.

Read the whole article here.

Red Stone : Open Beta

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Keith Cross

K2 Networks has announced that their upcoming fantasy mmorpg, red Stone is entering open beta.

IRVINE, Calif. - August 9, 2007 - K2 Network, Inc., an online game publisher announced today that its upcoming 2D Fantasy MMORPG, Red Stone is now in beta and open to the public. The game can be downloaded for free at Red Stone, a Free2Play, episodic MMORPG, offers players a unique fantasy experience with a deep and compelling storyline set in a detailed and dangerous setting. Offering 8 unique transforming character classes and compelling strategic missions, the player will seek to recover the lost shards of a powerful jewel in order to restore peace to the destroyed world.

"Red Stone's mesmeric storyline and highly original character set are just a few of the appealing ingredients," said Matt Norton, Senior Producer at K2 Network. "Add to that its Free2play element and classic style presentation and gameplay, we believe Red Stone has global appeal that will charm and captivate the MMORPG community."

K2 Network has also launched Red Stone's new website and forums which will play host to exciting promotions within the game. Valuable prizes, unique and rare items, as well as complete PC gaming packages from top companies will be awarded to gamers who reach a key milestone in the game.

Gamers will enjoy Red Stone's unique Transform System where all characters have the ability to change jobs and weapons as well as transform into other characters, enabling unique, strategic gameplay. Also setting it apart from other MMORPG's, Red Stone characters do not use Mana (MP) when spells and skills are used; instead, they use a rechargeable Charge Point (CP) system, challenging players to use their skills strategically.

Get all the details here.

Gods and Heroes : Class Profile Videos

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Ben Krueger

Today we added 3 new class profile videos provided by Perpetual Entertainment featuring design director Stieg Hedlund describing the nimble Scout, the stalwart Soldier, and the fierce Gladiator.

Class Profile: Scout Class Profile: Scout
Design director Stieg Hedlund describes the nimble Scout.
Class Profile: Gladiator Class Profile: Gladiator
Design director Stieg Hedlund describes the fierce Gladiator.
Class Profile: Soldier Class Profile: Soldier
Design director Stieg Hedlund describes the stalwart Soldier.

Check out more videos here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Book 10: The City of the Kings

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Keith Cross

Turbine has released new details about the next major content update for Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. Book 10: The City of the Kings will feature numerous improvements to the monster play system including the ability to login directly as your monster play character, over 40 new quests, Monster Tribes (the equivalent of Kinships), monster consumables, some class stat improvements, and much more.

Book 10: The City of the Kings, the second major update to The Lord of the RingsTM: Shadows of AngmarTM, features a massive overhaul to the Ettenmoors keep system. The update boasts over forty new quests, all with major impact on the forces defending or assailing the different keeps available

When planning for Book 10, we took a look at the feedback we've received from the community since launch and compared this with our data. Through this process we discovered that some pretty aggressive changes were needed to make monster play an even more compelling system. I'll explain the different and new dynamics introduced to the area, along with several other enhancements.

Login and Logout

Monster players can now log directly into their monster player character from the character selection screen! Upon reaching level 10, the "Monster Play" button will become active and players can click it to enter monster play. Logging out of monster play in the Ettenmoors will leave the monster player at that location; no longer will monster characters return to Gramsfoot after logging out.

Monster Tribes

Monster Tribes are the analog for player kinships. You can forge tribes to stalk the Ettenmoors and gain the rudimentary benefits available to player kinships, including tribal chat and the ability to have up to one thousand members in your tribe. Just like a player-created kinship, monster tribes require a charter (available for purchase in Gramsfoot) and must have a minimum of six members to maintain the tribe. They are completely independent of your player's kinship, and you can belong to only one tribe at a time.

Get all the details on Book 10 here.

Spellborn : Developer Journal: Art

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at The Chronicles of Spellborn have posted a new developer journal on their official site. The journal focuses on the artistic side of game development.

To start of this week art journal I'll introduce myself. I'm Frank "noz" Bakker, one of the level designers / environments artists on The Chronicles of Spellborn. I've been working on TCOS for almost 2 years now and the Athenaeum is my latest creation.

When you get a concept from a concept artist there's two ways to approach it. Do you model, texture and light it exactly the way it's drawn or do you use it as a rough guideline, as a base to work from. I prefer the latter. When I get a concept I'll use it as something to hold on to, not as a blueprint. This gives me a lot more freedom and joy in my work because I get to decide many aspects of how the environment should turn out. You can check attachment 1 for a screenshot of the Athenaeum taken in 3D Studio Max, our modeling tool.

The first thing I do when I get a concept is to find a starting point from where to start out. It depends on the model but for a large piece such as the Athenaeum I prefer to start out at some point and just expand from there on. With the athenaeum I decided to start working on the docks area and work my way up all the way to the top of the Athenaeum. I start with the rock itself because this serves as the base of the entire environment.

Read the full Developer Journal here.

Gods and Heroes : July Newsletter

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at Perpetual Entertainment have posted the July edition of the Gods and Heroes newsletter, which is full of information, such as a report on the beta stress test, a feat tree preview, a class profile on the Mystic, and more.

Mystics are learned sages who dedicate their lives to mastering the esoteric arts of sorcery. They require no weapon, as they wield the enigmatic forces of nature to do massive amounts of damage to the enemies of Rome. Whether harnessing the elemental powers of the earth or the dark powers of necromancy and summoning, Mystics command a variety of high-damage spells in defense of the Republic and the Olympian gods.

Though not physically intimidating, Mystics in Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising (G&H) are some of the most powerful combatants Rome has serving on her behalf. Capable of conjuring devastating elemental projectiles and doing instant damage, as well as slowly grating away at their enemies' vitality with over-time spells, the power wielded by a Mystic is regarded with awe and fear by all of Rome's enemies. Even when those enemies outnumber the Mystic and his allies, a variety of crowd control spells allow the Mystic to keep the foes of Rome at bay, thus giving him the room he needs to work his magic.

Read the Gods and Heroes July Newsletter here.

Lineage 2 : Meet-and-Greet Sign-up Re-opened

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at Lineage 2 have announced that they have reopened the sign-up process for their meet and greet events at GenCon and at the Austin Game Conference.

GenCon & Austin NCsoft Meet-and-Greet Update!

We're pleased to announce that at 10:00 AM CST tomorrow, August 8, 2007, we will be reopening the GenCon and Austin NCsoft Meet-and-Greet party sign ups. Space is very limited, so if you weren't able to sign up last time we opened signups, and you reside in the US, here's your chance!

If you have already contacted us about being put on the waiting list for either event, and we have sent you a message stating such, you will be automatically signed up.


Read more about the Meet-and-Greet here.

Fury : Auran Announces Fury Buisiness Model

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Keith Cross

Auran Games has announced it'd business model for Fury. The game will be free to play, with players having the option to pay a subscription fee to maintain Immortal status and gain additional benefits.

Brisbane, Australia, August 7th, 2007; Auran Games today made their long awaited announcement regarding the new business model for their upcoming PvP MMO, FURY. The game will be available from both retail and online at standard retail pricing from October. It is free to play with regular free content updates, plus an option to subscribe for additional benefits. Importantly, all players, regardless of subscription status, have access to the most powerful items and abilities in the game. Subscription offers additional benefits, choice and flexibility.

Tony Hilliam, Auran CEO, explains; "FURY is a game that blends elements from different genres; the pace and adrenaline rush from FPS games; the depth of character customization from RPGs; and the social and virtual economy aspects from MMOs" he said. "Therefore we wanted to make sure that our business model took into account the different expectations of various player types."

All players in FURY start out as "Immortals" for their first month of play. Immortal status gives players a range of additional benefits including:

  • Quick travel in the Sanctuaries and Schools
  • VoIP talk privileges
  • One additional Item Roll Slot
  • Extended "rested gold bonus"
  • Selling privileges on the Auction House
  • Priority log-in queuing
  • Entry into weekly and seasonal Ladders
  • Personal player battle statistics
  • In-game Customer Service access
  • Elite access to the test server to preview new content

Read the full release here.

Guild Wars : Platinum Edition

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Keith Cross

ArenaNet and NCsoft have announced the new platinum edition of Guild Wars.

Guild Wars: Eye of the North

Guild Wars: Eye of the North is the first true expansion for the Guild Wars franchise, providing new content designed exclusively for level 20 characters.

Return to the battle-scarred continent of Tyria, home of the original Guild Wars campaign. There you will reunite with old friends, discover new allies, and face off against a race of beings bent on a single mission--destroy everything. Win or lose, your actions will set the stage for Guild Wars 2.



Gameplay Features

  • Enter the Depths--Navigate a sprawling underground complex of caverns spanning an entire continent. Explore 18 multi-level dungeons rife with traps, puzzles, and secret passages guarded by foes more cunning and powerful than any you've ever encountered.
  • You Can Take It with You--Your achievements, trophies, and titles from all three Guild Wars campaigns and from Guild Wars: Eye of the North will not be forgotten. Your personalized Hall of Monuments will preserve these accomplishments allowing your descendants to reap the benefits of your character's fame in Guild Wars 2.
  • 10 New Heroes--Enlist the aid of Heroes from races old and new, including the fierce Norn, the magical Asura, and even a few surprises.
  • 150 New Skills--Play with skills unlike anything previously seen in Guild Wars, such as the Light of Deldrimor, which can simultaneously detect hidden objects and smite evil foes.
  • 40 New Armor Sets--Acquire a variety of powerful new armor sets and rare stand-alone pieces worthy of the greatest heroes of the land.

Key Features

  • No monthly fees--ever!
  • Compelling story and customizable characters set in a stunning world
  • Free global competition with real-world prizes
  • PvP or roleplaying--you choose the gameplay style
  • No loot stealing, spawn camping, and endless travel

Read more here.

General : Forum Spotlight: Churn Baby Churn

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Jon Wood

Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at a thread from our forums that discusses the churn of players in MMORPGs. Why do we move on from the games we play?

The MMO market is in constant churn, with new games opening up, old ones closing down, new users arriving and veterans moving on. This week on the forums, user Swiftblade13 takes a look at one aspect of that churn: MMO boredom, or the defeat of the EverCrack Syndrome. What causes us to become disenchanted with a game?

Swiftblade13 opens, "I'm sure many things can cause it, but lets rule out a few to start with.... lets assume its an MMO you expected to like... so its not the genre etc that's bothering you.. it's the gameplay." In other words, for the sake of this article (and his thread) we are assuming that the genre and general setting is what you, the user, expected; if you wanted a fantasy RP game, you got a fantasy RP game.

He continues by describing his own experiences with MMO boredom: "When I tried EQ2 and LOTRO I simply lost interest after a few hours of gameplay. I rather suspect for me that its the ease of casual progression.. there is no challenge so it doesnt keep my interest."

Read the whole column here.

The Matrix Online : Fan Faire Player Panel

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Staff Writer Carolyn Koh recently attended the Sony Online Entertainment Fan Faire in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, she files this report from a panel held so that players and developers could talk about The Matrix Online.

Attendance at this panel was modest, a total of 12, rising to 15 as a few drifted in after the panel started. The team of developers, however, was not deterred, as this was to be an informal exchange with the players. Raijinn started off with introductions all around the room and the banter started as Walrus started counting "land mines" that Raijinn dropped along the way. They referred to each other with their handles rather than first name, prompting me to ask where the Carpenter was.

"Why do you guys still play?" Walrus asked. "You must be crazy or you must really like it, and we hope you really like it." Laughter filled the room as replies of "Crazy!" and "Love it!" echoed through it. Players of The Matrix Online are pretty much a dedicated lot and they shared their favorite "Matrix" moments with the team.

One said, "It's the downtown area. When you jump off a building and you watch as the buildings flash by... 'Ahhhh... the Matrix!'"

Read the whole article here.

General : NCsoft Announces Q2 Financial Data

Posted Aug 09, 2007 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has released a press release detailing the company's second quarter financial data.

Seoul, South Korea, August 8, 2007 - NCsoft® Corporation (KSE: 036570.KS) today reported second quarter 2007 sales of KRW 75.9 billion (US$82.1 million), operating income of KRW 10.6 billion (US$11.5 million), and net income of KRW 10.6 billion (US$11.5 million) all on a consolidated basis. Compared to the previous year's corresponding quarter, sales were down by 11%, operating income up by 533%, and net income converted to surplus. A one-time write off in expenses of KRW 11.3 billion related to Auto Assault® was included in the previous year's corresponding quarter.

By region, the percentage breakdown of sales for the second quarter shows 59% in Korea (US$ 52.5 million), and 41% from overseas entities and royalty income: US$13.9 million in North America, US$4.9 million in Europe, US$8.3 million in Japan, US$2.5 million in Taiwan, and royalty income of US$3.9 million.

By game title, sales in the quarter for Lineage® recorded KRW 25.5 billion (US$27.6 million), Lineage II KRW 32.1 billion (US$34.7 million), City of Heroes®/City of Villains® KRW 6.4 billion (US$6.9 million), and Guild Wars® KRW 8.3 billion (US$8.9 million). Lineage and Lineage II sales dropped 16% and 2%, respectively, and City of Heroes/City of Villains increased by 7%.

Read more here.

Godswar : Musical Sampling

Posted Aug 08, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has released a sampling of the of the background music that will be available in Godswar Online.

The Unique Music Background in GodsWar and Soundtrack Samples #1

The importance of background music in games cannot be ignored. They set the tone for scenes and can provide a sense of emotion that enhances realism. The music for Gods War online has been chosen carefully and was done in a lovely Greek style to compliment the contents of the game. With the rich background music playing while you are immersed in the game you can enjoy gameplay to the fullest.

There is a variety of background music in Gods War online. Soft, classical, romantic and passionate...... Each melody features its own unique charms, with the background music changing automatically to match the gameplay in the scenes.

Listen to An Orgiastic Festival here.

Listen to Before The War here.

Listen to Flourish here.

Listen to Looking Out To Aegean here.

Tales of Pirates : Video Contest

Posted Aug 08, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that they will be holding a Tales of Pirates Video contest.

Tales of Pirates Official is announcing their new forum activity - Video Contest.

Time: Aug, 9th ----Sep, 8th

Location: TOP Media Overview Content and Rules:

  1. The content of video should be positive and active. No limitation to the video's theme and style, such as PK, TOP quests and Siege War etc.
  2. All works should be original. Plagiarism is strictly prohibited.
  3. You are considered to be participants when you post your works to the appointed location with the topic title "video", or your post will be considered invalid. The entries should contain the content listed here: The address of your work on youtube.com, a cover screenshot of your work, and your character and server names.
  4. The tag on your work should contain the words listed below: tales of pirates, IGG ,MMORPG,online game or TOP.
  5. All the entries are reserved by IGG and the source file of entries are also required.
  6. One player is allowed to compete with one main ID. If someone is found to use many IDs to post, the entry will be disqualified.
  7. Copyright Notice. The Contest and all accompanying materials are Copyright 2006 -2007 Skyunion Co., Ltd, All Rights Reserved.

Judgment: To judge the submitted works, IGG officials will refer to the amount of views and the rating set from the members of youtube.com.

Rewards:

  • The first prize (1): 500 item points
  • The second prize (2): 300 item points
  • The third prize (3): 200 item points
  • Honorable Mentions (8):100 item points

Get all the details here.

Voyage Century Online : The Hunting Roll

Posted Aug 08, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced the addition of the Hunting Roll to the latest version of Voyage Century Online.

Voyage Century Say No to Vicious PKs

The new edition of Voyage Century has been updated with the Hunting Roll. When use the Hunting Roll you are switching to the state of hunting after buying it. If you shoot down a Player with a Red Name whose notoriety degree is 10+, he will be thrown into prison at once. The effect of the Hunting Roll will last for on hour.

The creation of the Hunting Roll will deal the highly vicious players a big blow and thus hopefully restrain vicious PKs in VoyageCentury. Furthermore, the Hunting Roll is available to every player so all of you can do your share and be a righteous prize hunter. In addition to the debut of the Hunting Roll, we also will make some adjustments to the rule in Prison Break in the international edition of VoyageCentury in which nobody of notoriety 30+ can break out of Prison, they will only be able to stay at the prison and await the expiration of their punishment. Although notorious Players can resort to the Pardon Roll to remit his guilt, of course, it would cost him a considerable bunch of silver.

After taking the serious considerations of Player's suggestions, this time around we have decided to release this Hunting Roll which we believe will return an equal, and pure gaming world to our Players. Let's expect a more polite and fun VCO in the near future.

Read more about Voyage Century Online here.

Gods and Heroes : Exclusive Screenshot, Week Six

Posted Aug 08, 2007 by Jon Wood

Today, we continue a series that will see the publication of one new, exclusive screenshot from the upcoming MMORPG Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising.

Check out more Gods and Heroes screens here.

2Moons : 2Moons Enters Open Beta

Posted Aug 08, 2007 by Keith Cross

Acclaim Games has announced the beginning of the 2Moons open beta.

Los Angeles (August 7, 2007) -- Acclaim Games is pleased to announce the start of Open Beta for 2Moons, a free to play extreme action Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) for PC directed by video game industry veteran David Perry. "We opened the site on Monday July 30th and we were blown away with over 100,000 downloads, so much that our first world got filled in 24 hours. It's stunning! We had to delay the announcement until we opened our new world named Abaddon" said David Perry, director of the game.

With the highly anticipated launch of 2Moons Open Beta, any player will be able to sign up for free and enter the land of Haran to team up in guilds, battle menacing beasts, and defeat their most hated enemies in large-scale bloody massacres with thousands of others.

Players have been anxiously waiting for 2Moons ever since hearing about the exciting 3D multiplayer online game. At the game's silent launch, there was a sudden explosion of players due to the great hype surrounding its release and internet word-of-mouth. An additional server set was quickly added to make room for all the new players coming into the game, so now players can choose between the Trieste or Abaddon worlds. With such a tremendous response from dedicated fans and new players, 2Moons is expected to grow rapidly and reach the 1 million players milestone very quickly.

Read the full release here.

WYD Global : Open Military Academy

Posted Aug 08, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks over at WYD Global have announced the hiring of 36 in-game operators and the launch of the Open Military Academy.

Open Military Academy now launching thanks to the successful In-Game Operator Hiring!

With Your Destiny Global have successfully selected 36 in-game operators out of the list 50 players that undergo extensive training together with the GMs for the release of the Open Military Academy. The training started on Aug. 2 and was held for 3 days and finally ended on Aug. 5, 2007. The trainees were divided into to batches and attentively study all the things that will need to know about WYD Global with the help of the GMs. These trainees will serve a very important task on becoming a Chief of the Military Academy. The successful trainees will guide the new players in their hunting expeditions during their class in the Open Military Academy. The assigned Chiefs will have to share all their knowledge on how to level up quickly. They are also needed to answer all the questions of the new players that are regarding the game.

The classes in the Open Military Academy officially started today August 7, 2007 and as expected a lot of players sign in to join. Players level 1 - 255 participated in the start of the event. Guild Leaders and the Sub Guild Leaders will teach their class all they need to know about the game and eventually leading them to becoming a level 256 player. The day started with a series of activities that aim to help the trainees to level up faster. All the trainees will receive daily provisions and can join the series of activities until they can graduate from the academy. Those players that successfully reached level 256 will become a graduate of the academy and will be rewarded by a lot of premium items. The academy will be searching for the player with the most outstanding performance at the end of the training and will have the chance to create their own guild in one of the servers of WYD Global.

The Open Military Academy is still accepting applicants for the training. Sign up now for your free account at www.wydglobal.com and experience the fun in entering the WYD Open Military Academy now!

Read more about WYD Global here.

2Moons : Interview and Exclusive Screens

Posted Aug 08, 2007 by Jon Wood

Recently, MMORPG.com Staff Writer Joe Iuliani had a chance to ask ten questions of Rusel DeMaria, the Assistant Director on the MMORPG 2 Moons. As a game that has just announced the beginning of their Open Beta and added a new server, Abaddon, this game may be one to watch.

MMORPG.com:

How do you feel free online MMOs stack up against the pay per month MMOs?

Rusel DeMaria:

That's an interesting question, since there is quite a range of free online MMOs. Honestly, if a free MMO is popular and finds an audience, it's good. Whether I personally like it is irrelevant. There are lots of "low tech" MMOs that have dedicated followings, and I think that's just great.

If you are asking about 2Moons, I think it compares pretty well with the pay-per-month games. Not only is it already a fun, well-designed Diablo-esque MMORPG, with great graphics and action, a stable engine and a deep storyline, but it's constantly improving and adding new areas and features.

Read the whole interview here.

You can also view our nine new exclusive screenshots here.

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