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Conquer Online : New Security Features

Posted Apr 22, 2008 by Keith Cross

TQ Digital has announced five new security measures that will be in place in Conquer Online by the end of April:

Conquer Online will be adding some additional security measures in order to ensure that account security and virtual property protection remain at the forefront of our business model. In order to further protect our players the following five changes will be implemented by the end of April:

  1. New anti-virus/Trojan software/code has been installed into the game client files. This will add another level of security to your account.
  2. Item Lock - Once an item has been locked it can no longer be traded (except with business partners), stored, or sold in a market booth. Locked items can not be dropped while PK'ing as a red/black named player.
  3. Fair Trade System- When trading in CO, the system will ascertain the value of an item. Items whose value does not match that of their 'normal' valued prize will be marked as suspicious. Suspicious items will not be able to be equipped, dropped, sold, upgraded, composed, or used.
  4. Trading Partner- These are your selected friends whom you choose to trade with. No item traded by you and your 'trading partner' will ever be marked as suspicious.
  5. Merchant Accounts- These accounts allow you to sell items without the limitations or restrictions imposed on others through the fair trading system.

We understand that hacking is an inherent part of MMORPG gaming but are and will continue to combat hackers whenever we are able. We hope that these changes will continue to enhance game play and the overall satisfaction of playing Conquer Online.

More here.

General : 38 Studios: New Systems Design Lead

Posted Apr 22, 2008 by Keith Cross

38 Studios has announced that they have added Travis McGreathy to their development team. McGreathy will be the company's Systems Design Lead.

Maynard, MA, April 22, 2008 – Continuing to attract top industry talent, 38 Studios (, a pioneering entertainment company dedicated to delivering a broad spectrum of entertainment products, today announced the expansion of its industry-renowned design team with the appointment of Travis McGeathy as systems design lead. Travis hails from Sony Online Entertainment and joins his former SOE co-workers at 38 Studios, Jason Roberts and Steve Danuser, who have been laying the groundwork in IP and game development in year one at the studio.

"38 Studios already boasts some heavy-hitting, pop-culture names with R. A. Salvatore and Todd McFarlane," said Brett Close, CEO and President of 38 Studios. "In addition to these visionaries, 38 Studios is extremely proud of the well-known and highly respected designers, artists, and engineers we've attracted. Having Travis, Jason, and Steve as the nucleus of our design team adds further credibility within the industry, strengthening our commitment to deploying a first-rate MMOG, and ensuring fans that we have the skill and experience to deliver an Online Entertainment Experience like no other."

As systems design lead, McGeathy, known as "Rashere" in the online gaming community, will oversee the team responsible for creating the innovative gameplay mechanics that will bring to life the MMOG codenamed "Copernicus." At SOE, he held the position of lead designer on EverQuest and was responsible for the overall creative direction of the product and management of its design team.

Danuser, also known as "Moorgard" in the online world, joined 38 Studios in 2006 as the director of community development and lead content designer. He is establishing the foundation of 38 Studios' community while directing creative development of the company's upcoming MMOG. At SOE, he was the original community manager for EverQuest II, founding and maintaining one of the strongest and most vibrant communities in the MMOG space. He later moved into the role of designer and contributed to expansion packs and live updates, including the popular Echoes of Faydwer.

Design director Jason Roberts oversees the creative and technical operations of the 38 Studios design department, ensuring that both gameplay systems and creative content meld into a cohesive and entertaining experience. Prior to joining 38 Studios in 2007, he was lead designer of EverQuest II, providing guidance to the development process of three expansions and three adventure packs, including Desert of Flames, Kingdom of Sky and Echoes of Faydwer.

More on 38 Studios here.

Entropia : Show Wins Interactive Emmy

Posted Apr 22, 2008 by Jon Wood

The Truth about Marika, a Sweedish TV show, has won an emmy for their wrk in crossing television with the online world of Entropia Universe where viewers could help to solve a missing person case via clues in-game.

(GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN and CANNES, FRANCE) April 15, 2008 – Last week in Cannes, France, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the winners of the International Interactive Emmy® Awards, recognizing the drama The Truth About Marika, produced by Swedish Television and The Company P, for the best Interactive TV Service. The program successfully integrated television and the Internet, yielding an exemplary crossover experience for viewers that showcases the potential of future projects between the two mediums.

As part of The Truth About Marika, viewers could participate in the show by helping to solve the mystery of a missing person. Clues were planted in the virtual realm of Entropia Universe, where viewers could collect the separate clues to solve a larger puzzle, leading them one step closer to solving the overarching mystery. Viewers could also interact with the avatars of the main characters of the show inside Entropia.

This partnership was a breakthrough for television and the Internet in terms of creating real value for the viewers, and engaging them in multiple platforms through one program. Christian Bjorkman, Director of Special Projects for Mindark, explains, “Television and broadcasting companies all over the world are currently discussing new revenue models, how to capture viewers’ attention and how to create enhanced value and stickiness to their shows, not just during airtime, but before and after as well. The collaboration with Swedish Television and The Company P was extremely successful, especially as a preliminary project, and Mindark is excited to form relationships with other forward-thinking media partners to push the limits of entertainment to the next level.”

“We are beyond thrilled to be part of this Emmy Award and are extremely thankful to Swedish Television and The Company P for allowing us to be part of this momentous partnership,” says Mindark Chief Information Officer Marco Behrmann. “We look forward to more integration of entertainment outlets as technology and viewer demand calls for it.”

More here.

Warhammer Online : Josh, Jeff and Paul... What Do You Do?

Posted Apr 21, 2008 by Jon Wood

At this year's New York Comic Con, Managing Editor Jon Wood had the chance to talk with Josh Drescher, Jeff Hickman and Paul Barnett about the perception held by some that their roles at EA Mythic are purely PR. The three talk openly about their roles at the company beyond what we see at shows, in video dev dairies and elsewhere.

After their presentation at the 2008 New York Comic Con, I caught up with Jeff Hickman, Josh Drescher and the always wacky Paul Barnett from EA Mythic's Warhammer Online to talk a little bit about the guys, the promotion of their game and what their in-office jobs actually entail.

The first question that I asked was just how many events like Comic Con (where they gave a very amusing presentation that I will talk about in a later article) they have done over the past few months. After a small fit of laughter, Paul answered with an attempt to put things into a bit of perspective:

"I have done 275,000 air miles over the last two years," he said. Knowing Paul, I asked for clarification and he assures me that not only was that the number when he wrote it in his blog, but that it has increased ever since the last time he checked.

Read it all here.

Champions Online : Breaking the Wall

Posted Apr 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios recently posted an article on the Champions Online official site which details how a talented and driven individual can break into the exciting world of game design. Today we're pleased to reproduce the article the article on this site.

This is the first of a two-part series about the field of game design. This first article talks about how to break the wall and get into game design. The second part will detail a bit about how design works from the inside.

At one point or another, most people who play games have probably at least entertained the thought of getting into game design professionally. Game design isn't like law or medicine though – there's no bar or exam to pass, so how exactly does one break into the field?

The most important thing to realize about breaking into game design is that it is very much subject to the laws of supply and demand. There are very few game design jobs of any sort available, and there are a whole lot of people who want to be designers. And many of the people applying for the few open game design positions are not strangers to the industry, either. In addition to people in areas like QA or CSR, it is not uncommon to see programmers or artists want to switch fields.

Different developers will have different biases and be looking for different things, but there are ways you can better position yourself to dramatically improve your chances of breaking in to the industry.

Read more here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Exploring Expertise: Jedi Paths

Posted Apr 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at SOE have posted an overview of Jedi expertise paths in Star Wars Galaxies, which take Jedi down the path of the light and/or the dark side of the force.

The expertise system gives Jedi a choice of the path they wish to follow in the universe of Star Wars Galaxies. Choose a side and your role as a Jedi with the Path tree in the expertise system, now with several new abilities added in Game Update 3.

Choose Your Path

The left side of the Path expertise tree represents the light side of the Force and the right side of the tree embodies the dark side. The light side centers on calm and forethought to improve defensive capabilities, while the fury and passion of the dark side focuses on offensive powers.

A Jedi stance is required for abilities on the left side of the tree, and a Jedi focus is required to use the abilities on the right side of the tree.

Jedi who are not completely taken over by one side or the other may still choose abilities of both sides. Although Jedi are free to choose between the two sides of the Force, abilities and passive bonuses cannot be used while in the opposite stance or focus.

Read more here.

General : Realtime Worlds Gains APB Rights

Posted Apr 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

Realtime Worlds, the developers of All Points Bulletin (aka. APB), have announced that they now have the global distribution rights for APB.

BOULDER, Colo. and DUNDEE, Scotland, UK – April 21, 2008 – Realtime Worlds, Inc., a leading independent video game developer, today announced that it has regained the global distribution rights to All Points Bulletin (APB), the highly-anticipated urban-themed massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) under development in the company’s Dundee studio. The move follows Realtime Worlds’ recent US$50 million second round funding and provides the company with the independence to push creative boundaries in the development of the game and to take a more active role in managing APB’s global distribution strategy.

“Owning the distribution rights to APB marks a major milestone in Realtime Worlds’ evolution into a premier online entertainment company,” said David Jones, founder and CEO, Realtime Worlds. “By controlling the rights to APB we can ensure that gamers around the globe experience the revolutionary gameplay we envisioned when we first began creating the property. We are excited about the prospect of having direct, personal relationships with our players, which is a dream come true for many development studios.”

Read more here.

Vanguard : Game Update 44 Preview

Posted Apr 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE has posted a preview of Game Update 5 for Vanguard which will see racial mounts, Citizen Favor, class updates, and more added to the game.

Hey all! You should expect to see Game Update 5 on the Test sever after the weekend! Below is an outline of the main features included in the final update – please note though that they are not all fully implemented yet. As you play through the content on the test server, please keep an eye open for any bugs and be sure to submit a "/bug" for any you find – particularly in regards to particles not displaying correctly. Thanks, and enjoy!

Game Update #5

  1. Racial Mounts
  2. Class Updates
  3. Anti-Hitching
  4. New Particles
We have added a unique racial mount for each race in Vanguard! The mounts can be attained through a series of faction based quests that can be started in each race's home town. If you happen to like another race's mount better than your own though, worry not! With the appropriate faction, players will be able to complete any of the quests.

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Weekend Wrap-up

Posted Apr 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Tabula Rasa have posted their regular Weekend Wrap-up feature, where they summarize the events of the past weekend.  This week they look at veteran rewards, the Tabula cast, Friday Night Fights, and more.

Veteran Rewards

The AFS would like to thank you for standing strong and sticking with us as we continue to battle the Bane forces. Because of your valiant efforts, we'd like to honor you with a veteran reward.

6 Month Reward

  • General British Mask
  • Green Beret
  • Brass Knuckles
  • /YMCA emote
  • /Ballet emote
  • /Breakdance emote

See pictures of the mask, beret, and brass knuckles here!

Read more here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Grab Bag

Posted Apr 21, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Grab Bag returns this week to once again answer a myriad of miscellaneous questions from the Dark Age of Camelot community.

Q. Does the Mythirian of Health affect your health regeneration during combat?

A. Taking a bite out of a very healthy apple, the Balancinator says: Yes, a Mythirian of Health does affect your regeneration rate while in combat.

Q. I was just wondering whether the drastic decrease in comparative amounts of Bounty Points received from the new crafted super dread seals for the Gaheris ruleset was on purpose or not. I mean a good old regular Sanguine or Glowing Dread gives me 60 Bounty Points. The Lambent Dread seals (made up of 10 of the basic ones) only gives me 189 Bounty Points. So, is there some weird hidden mechanic of 10 seals = a percentage of Bounty Points for some reason?

A. Math calculations? The Bearded Wonder was happy to do some figurin': It seems that the amount of Bounty Points is modified by the amount of realm points given at any given time. We'll look into a work around for this, but at the moment, the Bounty Points will not be in direct proportion to the Realm Point increase that the new stones represent.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : New Screenshots

Posted Apr 19, 2008 by Keith Cross

Eight new images have been added to our Lord of the Rings Online screenshot gallery.

To view the full size images, and to see the rest of the new screens, visit our gallery here.

EVE Online : CSM Candidate Applications Breakdown

Posted Apr 19, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP's foray into democracy in EVE Online has moved another step forward as the applicants for the Council of Stellar Management can now officially be called candidates.  Ineligible applicants have been removed from the running, and CCP has broken down the application statistics for us to consume.

These are interesting times we live in. Setting up a democratic structure in EVE has not been the easiest process we have undertaken, but we truly feel it is well worth the effort because of the interest you have shown in the project.

Now, this blog is to tell you a thing or two about the statistics of the applications received and the approved applicants, now lovingly referred to as candidates.*

But on to the statistics.

  • We received 97 applications.
  • We accepted 64.
  • We rejected 33.

    Rejection reasons:

    • A scan of the passport was not supplied and either a personal photo was supplied instead, an expired passport or another type of identification that was not a passport.
    • EULA violation by the applicants.
    • Two applicants requested to be withdrawn and thus they count as being rejected.
    • Two applications were sent in by CCP for testing purposes when the service was reported as being down and they are included in these counts.
    • One applicant managed to apply twice due to some technical glitch we were unable to reproduce, one of those applications was rejected.

Read more here.

Age of Conan : Ask Kalanthes

Posted Apr 19, 2008 by Keith Cross

In this week's Friday Update from Funcom, Kalanthes returns to answer fan questions and enlighten us on all things relating to Age of Conan.

I'm sure many people are wondering this, but what is the general style of end-game armor in Age of Conan? For example, are there dresses with ridiculous shoulder pieces? Or are there really cool metal armors and shields with spikes that look realistic yet also impose a, "Don't mess with me or your skull will be on display" kind of message? Basically what I'm asking is will the armor look insanely cool? Will there be weapons that cause fear in your enemies? Will there be shields you don't want to get bashed with?

Secondly, will everyone be running around in the exact same armor? Or is there a large variety of armor and looks for specific armor? One thing I have yet to see in an MMORPG is the exact same armor set with slight variations (and I don't just mean color, but added effects that one can purchase or create to add to their favorite piece).

All of the armor in the game will be largely be “in-character” and realistic within the spirit of the world. So while there may be skull helmets, helmet with horns, and other “stretching reality” sorts of things, they won’t be bright purple with flashing lights and built-in spell effects. Some of the armor may be elaborate and some of the armor may even be colorful, but it’s all been drawn from the history of our own world as well as Robert E. Howard’s texts and other official Conan-type sources. It will all look like it belongs in the world, like something you could reasonably expect to find in a museum in our world, with small twists and hints of fantasy here and there. So, yes, you might see a skull helmet or Viking-style horns, but it’s probably not going to be pink.

As for the exact same armor, it’s doubtful. With the number of armor sets available in the game (and each set consisting of several pieces), it’s fairly easy to pick people out based on what they’re wearing and/or define your own unique look.

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Villain Epic Archetypes Video

Posted Apr 18, 2008 by Ben Krueger

We've just added this new video NCsoft has released describing some of the new features in the upcoming Issue 12 release.

Video Interview Villain Epic Archetypes Video
The City of Heroes team has released an epic-sized (4 minutes!) game play video explaining Villain Epic Archetypes that will go live with Issue 12.

Watch more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Visual Impressions of Book 13's Forochel

Posted Apr 18, 2008 by Jon Wood

Yesterday, brought you images of some of the new monsters that will appear in LotRO's Book 13 update. Today, Managing Editor Jon Wood gives us his impressions of the visual look of Forochel, the new and frozen area being introduced by the new book.

This past week, I had the opportunity to jump onto Isengard, the test server for Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online. I wasn't there as a tester though, but as a journalist. Joined by a small army of developers (ok, it was four or five, tops), I was given a tour of some of the new features for the upcoming Book 13: Doom of the Last-king.

I think that the best place to start is probably by talking about the environment itself. This update will see the inclusion of a brand new area known as Forochel. Turns out (for all of you non-Tolkienites out there) that Forochel is a cold an unforgiving place, inhabited by new monsters, new dangers and a race of people known as the Lossoth.

Check it out here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Dev Journal: Orc Defiler

Posted Apr 18, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks at Turbine have added a new dev journal to their official website. This one talks about the Orc Defiler, the new Monster Play class coming in Book 13.

Lighting flashed across the sky, briefly casting the forest in a sickly green glow. The wood was quiet, as the battle that had been waged beneath its boughs moved on to another venue. The only sound, other than the steady hum of insects, was of a small fire in a desolate hollow. The green flames of the small campfire crackled and hissed against the jagged stones, their smoky tendrils licking greedily at the pot of bubbling yellow putrescence perched above.

The sound of the fire was punctuated by the gasping moans from a misshapen figure lying amongst the bones littering the ground; the stench of festering wounds signaling the life quickly sliding away from the twisted form.

Read it all here.

Warhammer Online : Concept Art Part Two

Posted Apr 18, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks from EA Mythic have provided us with sixteen new pieces of concept art. Today, we present the second eight in Part Two of a two part feature.

Check it out here.

World of Warcraft : Video Contest: Rogues Do It From Behind

Posted Apr 18, 2008 by Keith Cross

Blizzard is running a contest where players are asked to create a video using World of Warcraft game footage for the band Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain and their song, "Rogues Do It From Behind."

L70ETC has just finished recording another slab of epic axe-grinding metal for you to feast your ringing ears upon called "Rogues Do It From Behind." To celebrate this latest anthem we have decided to announce the official Level 70 Elite Tauren Chieftain Music Video Contest. This competition is open to all, Alliance and Horde alike, and is brought to you by Comcast. To participate, all you need to do is create a music video using footage from World of Warcraft and the original song, "Rogues Do it From Behind." The winning videos will be featured on our official website, and grand prize winners will receive an 8GB Ipod Touch. For additional contest information, please visit the official contest page.

Read more here.

Voyage Century Online : Guild Cities Coming Soon

Posted Apr 18, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has released an overview of Guild Built Cities and how these cities are leveled up in Voyage Century Online.

With the new version of VCO test approaching the end, the City-Building System update will be released soon. The officials have already announced the City-Building System update rules.

How can a Guild Built City level up?

After reaching the required leveling index, each guild member can find the [Construction Minister] and pay the appointed leveling fund and provide the required leveling materials to meet the requirements. When the guild meets the leveling material requirements, the Leader or Vice Leader can level up the port. The port will obtain one [Development Point] after each level. Meanwhile, there is a Cooling Time before the next leveling.

Leveling Rules:

  1. Meet the development index requirements.
  2. Meet the leveling requirements.
  3. Requires a Cooling Time before leveling again.
  4. Only the Leader or Vice Leader can level up the port.
  5. The port can be leveled up when the Residual Leveling Time is 0. (The system will give a prompt to the guild leaders about the residual leveling time before the next leveling.)

Read more here.

Myth War : In-game Olympic Torch Relay

Posted Apr 18, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG will be holding an event based on the Olympic torch relay in Myth War Online.

Event Background: Nothing is fiercer than the competition of the Olympics. Each match is a test of mental and physical strength and endurance. More than that, the spirit of teamwork is more important. Of course, the spirit of teamwork is an important aspect of Myth War too.

The Olympic Torch Relay started on March 24th. In order to welcome the Olympics, the Myth War team will be holding an In-Game Olympic Torch Relay event.

Event Duration: From 3:00pm to 5:00pm on April 19th and April 26th (server time)

Event Contents:

  1. The GM will ask players some questions in the System channel. The first two players who answer correctly can take part in the In-game Olympic Torch Relay.
  2. Go and find the GM in the appointed city and obtain 3 fireworks from the GM. Then ignite one of the fireworks.
  3. Give the other two fireworks to one of your friends in another city and ask your friend to ignite one of the fireworks.
  4. Your friend should go to the appointed city and give the third fireworks to another GM in the appointed city. Meanwhile, your friend should also correctly answer the GM’s questions.
  5. The team who finishes the relay with the fastest time will be the winner.

Read more here.

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