Auto Assault has released their new May Spotlight. With one of the biggest events in a game developer's year coming up next week (E3, for those who may be confused), that's the theme they've chosen this time as the unveil a series of E3ish articles from Valerie "Pann" Massey:
The May Spotlight: Pann's E3 Chronicles — 05/03/06
Our weekly Spotlight is back this month with a series of E3-related articles by our very own Auto Assault Community Coordinator, Valerie "Pann" Massey. This week in Pann's E3 Chronicles we revisit past E3s and see how Auto Assault's presence has grown since 2004.
For more on AA, click here.
The god people over at Pirates of the Burning Sea have released another dev log. This once comes from RickSaada, and deals with PBSEdit. To read the whole log, follow the link at the bottom of the page.
It’s time for another one of my periodic forays into the depths of PBSEdit. Today’s expedition takes us into the wild and wooly world of ConCo, where Content Lead Jess Lebow, Technical Content Lead Raymond Wood, and their band of merry adventurers write the missions and encounters that will make up the meat of the game for many of us.
The foundation of the system is the mission. A mission is the thing you get from an NPC who wants you to do something. The something can be as simple as hunting down a few pirates to complex multistage affairs that play out over multiple game sessions. The way this is structured for the player is through an ongoing series of mission stages. A mission sequence may have one, a few, or many of these stages, each of which connects to a sequel on success, or loops back to a recovery stage on failure. There are many types of stages the content crew can use, including Persona Stages (go talk to someone), Waypoint Stages (go somewhere), Delivery Stages (take something somewhere), Bounty Stages (go kill N of something), and Encounter Stages (go play through a particular encounter). Each stage has some common data that needs to be set up, and then a lot of special fields based on the type of mission it is.
Read the whole log, here.
Guild Wars has announced that they have created a thank-you gift for all of those who have ordered, and are patiently waiting for, their Factions collector's edition copy of the game. The gift, for those who are wondering, is an in-game gift box containing a miniature dragon.
Factions Collector's Edition Gift
Factions CE buyers, we have great news! To show our appreciation for your support and patience as you wait for your CE to arrive, we decided yesterday afternoon to create a special Collector's Edition Thank You Gift. When you activate your Factions Collector's Edition access key, you will receive an in-game gift box containing a miniature of the dragon Kuunavang! Double click the box to reveal your miniature dragon. The gift will be one per account and will function like a Birthday Miniature. That is, they will be tradable, sellable (for in-game currency only!), or exchangeable between your characters. You will find your gift on the first character you bring into the game after we are able to implement this feature. We anticipate we will have these gifts ready within the next 10 days. And don't worry – all who purchase a Collector's Edition will receive a Thank You Gift!
For more on Guild Wars, click here.
It seems as though the European version of Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, has also decided to offer players a 7-Day free trial:
Dungeons & Dragons Online 7-Day Free Trial
Battle the evil lurking below the dangerous city of Stormreach(tm) when you DOWNLOAD THE 7 DAY FREE TRIAL! Begin your journey into the online world of a roleplaying classic, joining a community of adventurers to explore the exciting mysteries of Eberron® for seven days at no cost!
For more details and to sign up for the European Dungeons & Dragons 7-day trial please visit http://trial.ddo.com
For more DDO, click here.
World of WarCraft has announced two new additions to their official forums. The first is "Battle Plan, Volume 3". " The latest World of Warcraft Battle Plan is now live in the forums. Among other things, this edition discusses planned upgrades to the authentication system, the current population dispersion strategy, and our upcoming character transfer service. Head over to the General forum now to check it out!"
The second of the new additions is a brand new customer service forum:
We are happy to announce the new Customer Service Forum! This forum is managed by Game Master department staff who assist players every day with various in-game issues via the petition system. This new forum will help players
The goal of the new forum is to broaden the lines of communication between the Game Master department and the rest of the World of Warcraft community, so that issues new and old alike may be addressed accordingly. Head over to the Customer Service Forum now and check out this latest addition to the official World of Warcraft forums.
For more on WoW, click here.
Thanks to Tulga for sending these over.
Captain Mako is part shark, part human. He's one of the four patrons available in Issue #7 of City of Villains. Today, in the second to last part of this Q&A series, we profile him in questions and images.
| MMORPG.com: Who is Captain Mako?
Matt Miller: Gideon Ray is a savage mutant who has evolved into what can only be described as a humanoid shark. His actions are even more terrible than his appearance, and few foes are even identifiable once Mako is through with them. Mako is responsible for the death of Sharkhead Isle's most famous hero, Scrapyard.
MMORPG.com: What kind of powers does Captain Mako grant players?
Matt Miller: Mako grants the powers of the Coralax, sentient coral beings who hold sway over the powers of the world’s oceans. He has a variety of attacks including some that send shark spirits to attack foes.
You can read the Q&A and see the images here.
Recently, NCsoft announced a list of their games that would be appearing at E3, along with many of the well-known NCsoft titles, appeared the name of a new game, Aion. The following press release gives us some new information about the game that will be making its debut at E3:
SEOUL, South Korea, May 2, 2006 - NCsoft® Corporation (KSE:036570.KS), the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, today revealed the title image and full name of its newest ambitious project, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Aion™: The Tower of Eternity.
Aion will make its global debut at the world’s largest gaming expo, E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 10 to May 12. This next-generation MMORPG combines NCsoft’s expertise in the MMO space to create one of the best titles yet. It will be the Korean company’s first showing of the next internally developed MMORPG since Lineage II.
The Tower of Eternity, the subtitle announced today, is a massive tower situated in the center of the continent and symbolizes the world of the heavens. The company also revealed some screen shots for the product.
“NCsoft believes online gaming to be the ‘next cinema’ in entertainment and Aion was created to tackle the next challenge for the MMOPRG: enhanced interaction,” said Ju-hyeong Jang, head of the Aion product development team at NCsoft corporate headquarters in Seoul.
NCsoft will be showing a playable version of the game on the show floor at E3 this year, booth 1046 in the South Hall.
The good people over at A Tale in the Desert III have released a brand new trailer for your viewing and enjoying pleasure. The video can be downloaded from their official website, here.
Thanks to the developers for this movie.
Nikita and 1C Company have announced the development of a brand new project, Sphere II. This game is obviously a follow-up to Nikita's game, Sphere, which already appears on our games list. For more on Sphere, click here. Sphere II promises a "unique combat system" as well as a strategy element.
MOSCOW, Russia, May 2, 2006 - NIKITA and 1C Company announced today the development of a new massively multiplayer online role-play project - Sphere II. The sequel to the first Russia's first MMORPG based on state-of-the-art technology will open up new aspects of the magical universe.
Sphere II is a new massively multiplayer online role-play game based on the opposition of two races – vampires and humans. The vast game universe includes numerous areas where players will encounter both fantasy monsters and technological golems, the heritage of ancient civilizations.
The game features two main races, five special guilds and 14 various schools of magic for the player to choose. Managing the social status, a??ording to horoscopes of the magic universe, and using guild bonuses, a player can make significant progress in the game world. Becoming a "race leader," a character will have a chance to influence development of the fantasy universe.
A unique combat system comprising a wide range of skills has been created in Sphere II. Each parameter requires constant development. Otherwise, it will grow weaker, thus stripping the player of an extra advantage in a battle.
In addition to role-play game features, the project also has a strategy element. The player can independently conquer new territories and establish control over resources. A number of magic spells, cold steel and even firearms will help them make their "way uphill," gain power, and even simply hunt for Naath world inhabitants. Or one can simply try and challenge an offender.
The project's 3D graphics are executed at the highest level possible and employ the entire potential of modern graphics adapters. The quality of animation and special effects and the variety of game landscapes in Sphere II can surprise even the most demanding player. The project was announced and presented at the Russian Games Developers Conference on 7-9 April on the premises of the Cosmos Hotel.
Horizons has released a brand new live patch. The below changes are currently active on both the Blight and Order servers, and became active on the 2nd of May. They have also made a change to the Blight server on May 3rd:
Despite the best efforts of the Gifted, the invasion near Harro continues. To combat the seemingly unstoppable horde, Lord-Commander Jatell has called for the construction of fortifications near the Harro Road and Old Oaks. From this outpost, the armies of the Living Races can make a stand and try to stave off imminent disaster!
The following update was applied to the Blight server on Wednesday, May 3, 2006:
For more on Horizons, click here.
EverQuest II has released a brand new Dev Chest, the feature that points readers to some of hte more interesting tidbits that show up on the EQII official forums:
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.
There's a new hot fix that went up yesterday over at Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot:
Here's one quick fix for you:
- Tinderboxes can now be placed in vaults and no longer have the potential to delete multiple versions inside the backpack upon use.
For more on DAoC, click here.
Over on the RF Online Community site, it seems as though Laeth will be taking over duties from Zzeno, who is temporarily out of commission:
Hello ladies and gentlemen!
I’ve some good news; at least I think it’s good news. I’ll explain. So, Zzeno and I were taking a nice walk down by the countryside yesterday afternoon. The weathers really great right now so we thought we’d catch up on things - you know - how’s life, been up to much, the usual stuff. All was going well, when all of a sudden I accidentally on purpose pushed him into a ditch and he hurt himself.
As of right now, Zzeno is probably lying in bed doing absolutely nothing (like usual). But yes anyway, because Zzeno is kind of incapacitated right now - I’ll be taking over the RF community until he recovers - aka indefinitely .
Hope some of you aren’t too upset…. Mauahahaha *ahem*.
For more on RF Online, click here.
The Legend of Ares is getting ready to start their second Closed Beta, which will begin on Wednesday, May 3rd. The following press release lets players know what they should expect this time around:
Throughout the duration of our first Closed Beta we have received many comments and suggestions about The Legend of Ares ranging from user interface to general gameplay.
During the break between Closed Betas we have gathered these comments and have implemented several changes to resolve these issues.
After countless hours of coffee and sleepless nights the folks here at MGame are extremely excited to announce the details for the second Closed Beta of The Legend of Ares!
::::: Interface :::::
One of the biggest comments that our users contributed regarding The Legend of Ares dealt with the user interface(particularly in the area of character control).
So the MGame development team has fully altered the system to include those things that users wanted most. We have:
For the second Closed Beta, players will continue to receive those benefits that were given throughout the first Closed Beta.
These benefits will consists of a 200% increase in exp gain as well as an increase in the drop rate for magical items.
We will also continue to run events throughout the second Closed Beta, which are as follows:
There will be several scheduled PvP events where players of each nation will be able to teleport to a map and fight for the glory of their nation.
The rules are simple.
Whichever side scores more points than the other in the span of an hour will win the war. Players will be able to gain points by either killing enemy players or destroying any one of three symbols throughout the map.
The schedule for National wars will be as follows (all times will be held in PST):
05/05/2006 12-1 pm / 7-8 pm
Some of the events that were held in the first Closed Beta will continue to be held throughout the days of our second Closed Beta.
The times for the events will not be disclosed until right before it happens; however, we will post what type of events they are:
Find the Bug
Because of the immensely helpful contributions players have submitted during our first Closed Beta, we have decided to reward those who are equally helpful for our second.
With this in mind we have decided to run an event where prizes will be awarded to those players who submit the most helpful bug report through our email, email@example.com.
The criteria for a prize-winning submission will be as follows:
a submission with a critical bug in the shortest amount of time.
The prizes will be as follows:
1st / +7 weapon scroll (1 winners)
SOE has announced some new additions are coming to EverQuest II. Just in advance of E3, the word is that the new expansion pack will be called Echoes of Faydwer and the next adventure pack dubbed The Fallen Dynasty.
Echoes of Faydwer will offer a new race (the Fey) and a whack of new content. The adventure pack carries more new content with an Asian-theme. They also included two images from each product, which are included (and marked) below.
New Additions Coming to the World of EverQuest(R) II
New Expansion Pack, Echoes of Faydwer(TM) and New Adventure Pack, The Fallen Dynasty(TM) Currently in Development
SAN DIEGO, May 2 -- Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, today announced details on its latest plans for EverQuest II, which include a new expansion pack featuring an all new playable race and an adventure pack introducing an Asian flair to the popular massively multiplayer online game. Echoes of Faydwer, the third expansion for EverQuest II, is expected to be available on or around November 14, both at retail and via digital distribution for a suggested retail price of $39.99. The Fallen Dynasty is the third adventure pack for EQII and will be available this June by digital download only for a suggested retail price of $7.99 or at no additional charge to Station Access subscribers of two months or longer.
"Our newest offerings to the EverQuest II product line offer great fun for EQII fans," said Laura Naviaux, senior brand manager, Sony Online Entertainment. "Echoes of Faydwer is a content-rich experience for both the seasoned EverQuest II player and the newbie alike, since the new content is accessible from the start. With The Fallen Dynasty, higher level veterans of EQII can explore a unique adventure and gain all-new weapons that they can bring into the rest of the game world."
Echoes of Faydwer is the third expansion pack for EverQuest II, and introduces a new playable race, The Fae. An enchanted race of winged creatures, the Fae dwell on the continent of Faydwer, in the arboreal city of Kelethin, the new starting city being added to this latest chapter in the EQII saga. Echoes of Faydwer includes over 350 new quests, a new selection of profession hats, cloaks, armor, and new horse mounts available to players of all levels. EQII players will encounter over 40 new types of creatures to face, more than 20 new zones and adventure areas, and will be able to compete against other players for new PvP (Player vs. Player) rewards, plus all-new items, equipment, spells and tradeskill recipes. The Achievement system introduced in the Kingdom of Sky expansion has been enhanced to include additional sub-class abilities, allowing players to further customize their characters' abilities.
Developed in conjunction with SOE's Taiwan studio, The Fallen Dynasty Adventure Pack promises to deliver the same downloadable story-rich content seen in the previously released The Bloodline Chronicles and The Splitpaw Saga, but this time with Asian influenced adventure zones, weapons, tradeskill rewards, as well as all new quests.
The Fallen Dynasty introduces EQII players to a mysterious city shrouded in secrets and once ruled by a powerful entity. The Whistling Fist, an ancient order of monks, guard its veiled past, but seek adventurers brave enough to explore the mysteries of this forgotten civilization.
EverQuest II Echoes of Faydwer Features
EverQuest II The Fallen Dynasty Features
For more information on these games, visit the EverQuest II Web site, www.everquest2.com.
About Sony Online Entertainment
Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) is a recognized worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online games, with hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the globe. SOE creates, develops and provides compelling entertainment for the personal computer, online, game console and wireless markets. Known for its blockbuster franchises and hit titles including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Champions of Norrath®, Untold Legends(TM), and PlanetSide®, as well as for developing Star Wars Galaxies(TM): An Empire Divided(TM), SOE continues to redefine the business of online gaming and the creation of active player communities while introducing new genres on various entertainment platforms. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with additional development studios in Austin, TX, Seattle, WA, and Taiwan, SOE has an array of cutting-edge games in development. SOE is owned by Sony Pictures Digital and Sony Computer Entertainment America.
SOE, the SOE logo, EverQuest and PlanetSide are registered trademarks of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. Untold Legends is a trademark of Sony Online Entertainment LLC. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.
MMORPG.com is currently looking for a few good men and women to fill roles as writers and moderators. While all positions are on a voluntary basis, bonuses are available to those who earn them.
We appreciate all applicants time and will let you know - positive or negative - our response in as timely a manner as possible (keep in mind E3 is next week). Also, all applicants must be over 18 years of age.
The MMORPG.com Team
Stephanie Shaver, the Lead Designer of Hero's Journey, troops through despite it being the week before E3 with yet another colorful developer journal. This week, she looks at Bards, Clerics and Healers.
| Game designers just don't seem to know what to do with Bards. Are they fighters? Are they sneaky? Well hey, in Hero's Journey you can make a Bard-Rogue or Bard-Warrior and decide that for yourself -- or make a Bard-Ranger and tell other games to go away.
Bards evolved from a humanitarian need for neutral couriers and free agents, and began as a sect of Kinnaes who developed so-called "charm magic". Bards are notorious wanderers, and still called upon as diplomats and mediators. Wandering the Known World nowadays isn't nearly as safe as it once was, but like all Elanthians, Bards have learned to adapt.
You can read the article here.