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Tabula Rasa : Feedback Friday: 1.6 Preview

Posted Mar 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has posted their regular Feedback Friday feature, this week providing us with a sneak peak at version 1.6.

Sneak peek at version 1.6:

With 1.6 in the works right now, we thought we'd give you a sneak peek of what you will able to experience for yourself once 1.6 goes live. These are but a couple of those handy little features that were requested at some point or another and we would be happy to get your feedback on some of the changes outlined below by using our Feedback Form.

Kill Streak Multiplier

The kill streak multiplier has been updated to make leveling easier at higher levels. Previously, the same multiplier was available to everyone regardless of their level and players could only reach a maximum of plus 250%.

The multiplier will be changed to a whole number and the maximum multiplier increases as players go up in level. The whole numbers will look a bit familiar to you if you played back in beta, but a lot has changed as to when you’ll get the bonus.

  • Up to Level 9, maximum multiplier is x2
  • From 10 to 19, maximum multiplier is x3
  • From 20 to 29, maximum multiplier is x4
  • From 30 to 39, maximum multiplier is x5
  • From 40 onward, maximum multiplier is x6
Experience Booster There will be an Experience Booster purchasable at every Control Point with the new Global CP Tokens. This item will allow the player to gain 50% more experience for 30 minutes. This booster does work in conjunction with other experience multipliers in the game; like the kill streak multiplier.

Read more here.

Dreamlords: Resurrection : Dreamlords Reawakens

Posted Mar 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

While at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, News Manager Keith Cross had the opportunity to speak to the folks from Lockpick Entertainment about Dreamlords: the Reawakening, an MMORTS that is waking people up to a relatively unexplored branch of the MMO genre.

One of my first interviews at the GDC this year was with the team from Dreamlords. Dreamlords is one of those games that it's good to pay attention to if you're a fan of MMOs because it's doing something different from the mainstream that will probably make it into the mainstream a few years down the road. If you're unfamiliar with Dreamlords, it's a fantasy MMO from independent Swedish developer, Lockpick Entertainment. If you're wondering what sets Dreamlords apart from the rest of the pack of fantasy MMOs, it's a real time strategy MMO.

So far, developers of MMORPGs and virtual worlds have made up the bulk of the developers who have capitalized on making games in persistent online worlds. As the MMO genre grows and diversifies, many games have found success beyond the standard fantasy RPG. Fantasy is arguably less dominant every year, FPS style game-play is seeing a rise in implementation, but the realm of MMORTS is still more or less virgin territory. Now that I think about it, I don't see why the idea of MMORTSs is still an underdeveloped portion of the gaming market. The concept of transferring an RTS to an MMO space isn't really that complicated. The basic idea behind Dreamlords was explained by describing the formula for an RTS then adding a few MMO ingredients. In an RTS you start with nothing, you build a base, attack your enemies, and finish the game. On the next map you again start with very little, and lather, rinse, repeat. Lockpick wanted to shake up that cycle, so they added the MMO element of making the world persistent.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : March 12th Maintenance

Posted Mar 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE has announced that critical maintenance will take place on Wednesday, March 12th.

Sony Online Entertainment has scheduled a criticial maintenance procedure to begin at 1a and conclude at 5a, Pacific Time on Wednesday, March 12th.

It is expected that the procedure will interrupt our gameplay servers, as well as our forum logins and User Content submissions.

This outage will not impact game servers, forum logins or user content submissions for our Australian customers.

Read more here.

Vanguard : Veteran Rewards Announced

Posted Mar 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE has announced the beginning of veteran rewards for Vanguard players.  The first rewards come in the form of titles, vanity pets, and furniture, and become available veterans of just 6 months.

We're always looking for ways to make Vanguard: Saga of Heroes more rewarding for our players, so we're happy to announce the addition of Veteran Rewards to the game! Loyal citizens of Telon will be recognized for their long-standing service in-game with a variety of reward options, ranging from prominent titles to vanity pets and unique furniture sets.

The first of many rewards becomes available after 6 months of active play, and more are made available at the 8th month, 10th month and 12th month intervals! If you're new to the game there's no need to worry; you won't miss out on any of these rewards.

Read more here.

Star Wars Galaxies : 57 Month Veteran Reward

Posted Mar 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE is offer a reward for 57 month veterans of Star Wars Galaxies.  The reward is a homing beacon which allows faster travel to home faster and avoid Imperial checkpoints and tollbooths.

Citizens who have been part of Star Wars Galaxies for 57 months will receive a great reward for their loyalty this month as we introduce the homing beacon. Need to avoid Imperial entanglements at the starport? Have to get home in a hurry? Save time with the homing beacon veteran reward!

Placing the Beacon

The homing beacon, the 57 month veteran reward, allows pilots in the system to land their ships from the space station above their home. Placing the beacon in a house or other building will mark that location as a direct landing spot for any starship.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : WoW Arena Tournament Test

Posted Mar 07, 2008 by Keith Cross

Blizzard will be testing the WoW Arena Tournament on the Tournament Test Realm on Sunday between the hours of 12PM to 3PM PST, and everyone is invited.  Players from all regions are invited to play, and also to witness developers and community staff go head to head.

Are you ready to take on the world in the arenas? The World of Warcraft team will be testing the WoW Arena Tournament on the Tournament Test Realm, and you are invited to be a part of the action. Players in all regions will access the same realm, so the call is going out to all PvPers in North America, Europe, and Korea to log into the Arena Tournament Test Realm and participate in all-out PvP action!

The Worldwide Arena Battle will take place this Sunday between 12PM to 3PM PST, and members of the Community and Development teams will join in the fray, including a head to head match between community managers from around the world for world dominance. The results will also be posted on the Tournament forum!

No character copies will be needed for this unique event as you will get access to the character and gear of your choice just by logging in. The 2.4 PTR patch will provide access to the Tournament realm so download it soon and we'll see you on the battlefield!

Read more here.

Zu Online : Exclusive Screenshots

Posted Mar 07, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks over at IGG have been kind enough to send us three exclusive screenshots for their upcoming MMORPG, ZU Online.

See all three here.

General : A Tribute to Gary Gygax 1938 - 2008

Posted Mar 07, 2008 by Jon Wood

On March 4th, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons. After the outpouring of responses in our report, we present you with and ask you to aprticipate in this small tribute to a man who touched a number of our lives.

On March 4th, the world lost Gary Gygax. Considered by many to be the father of role playing games, Gygax is credited with the co-creation of Dungeons and Dragons and was co-founder of TSR, the brand that led the world of RPGs until it was purchased by Wizards of the Coast. Gygax was 69 at the time of his death and is survived by his wife and six children.

While inventing a game like Dungeons and Dragons won’t get you household name recognition, Gygax was a legend (and I don’t use that term freely) in the RPG industry and with role players worldwide. So much so that to this day one of my favorite episodes of Futurama features an animated version of Gygax. :“It’s a… *rolls dice, sees result*… pleasure to meet you.”

Read it all here.

Tabula Rasa : State of the Game

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

Starr Long, the Producer of Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa has written an article detailing the current state of Tabula Rasa. In the article he discusses NCsoft's commitment to the game, where the game is now and their future development plans, as well as Richard Garriott's current involvement, rumored layoffs and financial issues.

Starr Long, the Producer of Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa, updates us on the state of the game, as well as moving forward to the exciting things to come.

In the last few weeks there’s been talk about the future of Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa, the financial impact of the game on NCsoft as a whole, and the state of our development team here in Austin. I think it’s important to clarify what is going on and what our players can look forward to in the near future, because there is a lot to look forward to.

NCsoft has committed a lot of money and resources into continuing post-launch development of Tabula Rasa. We have been putting new content into the game every few weeks, and we will continue doing just that. We have already added more upper level content and new features like Hybrids, and we’re working on tons of exciting content, such as Personal Armor Units (mechs and mini-vehicles that players can use and will grant them new abilities). Other features we are planning include Command Opportunity, where players will get the ability to summon entire squads of upgradeable NPCs to fight for them. Clans will be able to battle over control points, which we are building specifically for clan versus clan gameplay. Another addition we’re working on is Flashpoints, which are missions that start dynamically in a region for a number of players, whenever certain criteria are met.

Read more here.

Lineage 2 : Bunny Money

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Linage II have announced their Bunny Money on the whimsical shores of Fantasy Isle.

Come one, come all to whimsical shores of Fantasy Isle to celebrate spring! If you've made the long swim here before, you may have noticed that we were still making preparations for the isle's grand opening. You'll be happy to know that during our celebration, you won't need to get your feet wet to travel to Fantasy Isle! We're offering a free teleport service to and from Fantasy Isle where curious and wondrous sights await you, including a special event we're calling Bunny Money! Why Bunny Money, you ask? Well, you'll just have to come see for yourself!

All are welcome, and we'll make it well worth your while! If you participate, you'll have a chance to win some amazing prizes, including S-grade armor, high-grade Soul Crystals, shadow Agathion bracelets, and more! There are two ways to participate in the Bunny Money event. If you're too busy to visit us here at Fantasy Isle, you can still participate by hunting monsters! Interested? Great! Read on to find out more!

Read more here.

Stargate Worlds : Goa'uld Concept Art

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment has been kind enough to send over another piece of concept art, this time showing us the various new looks for the Goa'uld in Stargate Worlds.

Read more here.

World of Kung Fu : New Flying Mount

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks from World of Kung Fu have announced that they have released a new mount, called a Linglong, to their game. The linglong is availabe in the item mall and brings flight to the players.

[Shanghai, March 5, 2008] Are you tired of walking everywhere? As a Kung Fu hero, don’t you need a cool mount to aid you in your journey? There are already horses, sedan chairs and even a tiger you can ride… But why ride when you can FLY?

A brand new flying mount, called a “Linglong” is now available in the World of Kung Fu Item Mall! Based upon the phoenix in ancient Chinese mythology, it is a symbol of high virtue and grace. It has great speed, and provides an interesting perspective in the game world. Plus, it looks fantastic! You’ll be the envy of your friends when you mount up on to this beautiful creature! Join us today and take a ride on a Linglong! You won’t regret it!

More on World of Kung Fu here.

Dream of Mirror Online : Update Info

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Jon Wood

Gametribe, the company behind Dream of Mirror Online (better known as DOMO), has announced the contents of their March 12th content update, including a new class; the Fencer.

Hi Dreamers,

Brand new content is coming in the next update on March 12th ! Decorative stuff, deep ingame content added, all new, all for you!!

It’s Fashion Week in Eversun !!
You can customize your character with a new very nice traditional costume in the item mall (dress for girls, jacket for boys), change your look!
New inventory bags: these bags allow you to use 5 new slots. 10 new slots are the maximum you can get. We propose these bags in the item shop by one or pack of two.
Fireworks to party or create a rally point.

Aside from these new items, the in-game big changes are:
Fencer new class and its dedicated job quest : try out this marvellous fighting class !
Main Quest 5th chapter: follow your path….

And surprises are not finished... Enjoy also the special item dedicated to Ireland lovers that we have created to celebrate St. Patrick’s day!!!

The new contents will be added to DOMO on next March 12th during the weekly server patching.

More on DOMO here.

Entropia : Architecture Firm to Make World

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Jon Wood

Creative Kingdoms Inc., a real world architectural firm, has announced that it will be building a world inside of the Entropia Universe.

CHIANG MAI, THAILAND — Creative Kingdom, Inc. (CKI), the world’s most celebrated thematic architectural design firm, has begun developing a state-of-the-art film/television studio and IT production complex in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This massive project, dubbed Cyber City – underwritten by the Thai government and a consortium of entrepreneurs including CKI CEO Eduardo Robles and President Thanu Boonyawatana, as well as Robles LLC – is being constructed and outfitted on a nine-kilometer stretch of the northern Thai city at a cost of 7 billion Thai baht ($250 million).

The development, which will also house deluxe accommodations and resort facilities for visiting executives, creatives, financiers and other dignitaries, represents a landmark opportunity for international production entities and online companies to establish a cutting-edge base of operations in the burgeoning Asia market. Later phases of the project are slated to include soundstages, top-tier editing facilities, a theme park, a 3D animation education center and much more.

With Cyber City as the jewel in its crown, Thailand will undoubtedly continue its surge in the technology sector. Thanks to CKA, its robust animation division (which has notched such successful series as Bubble Warriors, Magic Panda and the Kool Kidz, Muey Tiger and La-La World, among others), and 3D CGI design prowess, Creative Kingdom will prove instrumental in the global expansion of Thai animation, gaming and new-media development.

With offices in Los Angeles, Dubai, Beijing, Chiang Mai and Pasig City, Philippines, CKI has achieved international renown (and coverage by such bellwether media outlets as 60 Minutes and The Discovery Channel) as the designer of such lavish destinations as The Palm Island, World Island, and the Madinat Jumeirah Resort in Dubai, UAE. Having brought an element of the fantastic to such real-world locales, CKI will for the first time endeavor to bring the specificity and rigor of its architectural practice to a purely fantastic destination.

The maiden project for the new complex will be CKI’s collaboration with the Swedish company Mindark, makers of Entropia Universe, an enormously successful Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORG) with a real cash economy that is already positioned to challenge the dominance of market leader World of Warcraft. CKI, the first high-profile architectural firm to be enlisted for such an undertaking, will design an entire planet within Entropia Universe.

Robles LLC, meanwhile, will bring its considerable consulting expertise in the animation and gaming worlds to the table, and its partnership with CKA will undoubtedly yield unprecedented new developments in the online world. Having developed several CKA cartoon properties, the firm – which is based at the Los Angeles Center Studio Complex – is preparing to develop a motion picture project based on the new Entropia Universe planet. This ambitious co-production with CKA Starlight Studios Beijing, and Dabok Entertainment Co,, Ltd. Korea, is slated for release in 2010.

“The technology introduced by this project will enable other companies within the media, film, music and gaming industries, among other content providers, to efficiently acquire their own planet within Entropia Universe,” declared CKI CEO Robles. “In turn, this will provide a diverse, entertaining and interesting virtual universe of vast proportions for participants to explore.”

“This is an historic development in the world of online gaming,” added company President Boonyawatana. “Our 30 years of experience in creating top iconic resorts around the world was a key factor in our being selected by Mindark to create its next planet, and we relish the opportunity to achieve this unique fusion of physical and virtual worlds.”

“This long term partnership with CKI is perfect match for Mindark. It further proves the viability of the Entropia Universe platform as the foundation of creating entertaining and exciting online virtual experiences, as well as giving our partners access to a very secure, proven and stable system for handling real cash transactions within a MMORG,” Mindark CIO Marco Behrmann informs.

Users of Entropia Universe and other MMORGs spend considerable sums of real money on virtual goods and services. This confluence of hard currency and frictionless production and distribution has created a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs worldwide. Thanks to its sophisticated technology infrastructure, Cyber City will enable Thai workers to generate income from remote locations – thus revitalizing the economies of rural communities and stemming the crush of migration to urban centers.

The developers of Cyber City Chiang Mai believe it will prove a benchmark in the ongoing evolution of the new global economy.

More on Entropia Universe here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Exploring Middle-earth: Haudh Iarchith

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Lord of the Rings Online Lorebook has been updated with a look at Haudh Iarchith, an dungeon of dread within the Barrow-downs of Bree.

The Barrow-downs west of Bree were once a haven for the Rangers of Cardolan, until the plague swept across Middle-earth and destroyed the last remnant of those Dúnedain. After the Rangers of Cardolan perished, the Witch-king sent fell spirits out of Angmar and Rhudaur to inhabit the remains of the dead buried beneath the mounds, giving rise to the Barrow-wights. Since then, the Barrow-downs have had an evil name as a place of terror.

A few places within the Barrow-downs, such as Othrongroth and Ost Gorthad, are known as places of the greatest dread. Another of these terrible places is Haudh Iarchith. Once the clan-barrow of a great and wealthy family, it has now become a den of Angmar’s Dead. The hunters of Bree seek to drive the evil from this place, but few among even them have the courage to face the wights of Haudh Iarchith.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Design-A-Weapon Winners Announced

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

AreneaNet has announced the winners of last year's Design-A-Weapon Contest, which they will be using to create new weapons for Guild Wars.

The 2007 Design-A-Weapon Contest was the most popular Guild Wars contest ever! We received well over a thousand entries in the contest, and the Dev Team agrees that the quality of the art and the concepts is simply amazing—the best fan art we've ever seen. In the coming months, the player designs selected by the judges will serve as inspiration to the Guild Wars Art Team for the creation of new weapons, shields, focus items, and more! [You can find the original contest rules page here.]

About the Judging

From the more than 1,000 entries, through multiple levels of judging, approximately 100 concepts were selected as finalist entries. Then, the entire Guild Wars Development Team judged the finalists. Eleven concepts were selected as winners, and those concepts will be the basis for new items that will be added to the game in the upcoming months. Another fourteen item concepts were selected as Honorable Mentions, and it is possible that those concepts may also become items in the future. In two instances, design concepts from multiple contestants were combined to form a single entry for judging and those combined concepts would be used as the basis for one new item, although each of those contestants will receive a prize.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Council of Stellar Management Vote May 5

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced that elections for the Council of Stellar Management, EVE's next step toward a representative government, will take place on May 5th.

EVE Online takes its first steps into “… a form of representative government” writes Peter Svensson of the Associated Press. Svensson's article continues with “The Council of Stellar Management won’t be a legislative body but will represent players before the company … If the company denies a request it must justify that action to the councilors.” This evolution in the relationship between EVE Online and its community is the obvious next step for our virtual world. Human interaction is a critical element in MMORPG games. CCP understands that a symbiotic bond should be nurtured for the betterment of all involved.

Stay tuned for more information as things develop. In the meantime please find the following link to EVE TV’s coverage of Friday - Fanfest 07, where Dr. EyjoG and Xhagen give an overview of the revised player council.

Read more here.

Earthrise: First Impact : Exclusive Screenshots, Week One

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Jon Wood

Today, we kick off an exclusive screenshots series with the folks from the upcoming post-apocalyptic MMORPG, Earthrise.

Check out all three here.

Spellborn : Spellborn GDC Demo

Posted Mar 06, 2008 by Jon Wood

News Manager Keith Cross recently had the opportunity to get his first look at the upcoming MMORPG, The Chronicles of Spellborn and shares his thoughts on the new game's combat, equipment, death penalty and more.

At this year’s GDC, I finally had the chance to take a look at The Chronicles of Spellborn. Ever since last year, when Managing Editor Jon Wood went to the Netherlands to tour the Spellborn studios, he’s been telling me I need to see this game in action. One reason Jon encouraged me to see this game is because it’s one of those games that doesn’t get a lot of attention compared to other MMOs of its calibre. Spellborn is nowhere near as hyped and publicized as other triple A games that are currently in development. The other reason Jon has been bugging me to see this game is because it’s full of innovation. There isn’t really one big innovative game mechanic, or revolutionary idea in Spellborn, but more of a collection of small improvements and tweaks to the standard quest based MMORPG model that look like they add up to something special.

Read it all here.

City of Heroes : 48 Month Veteran Rewards

Posted Mar 05, 2008 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has announced a number of rewards for 4 year veterans of City of Heroes, including the Battle Hardened Badge, and a Summon Pet Power.

48 Months: Battle Hardened

* Battle Hardened Badge
* Summon Pet Power: CHOICE: Light Fairy, Dark Fairy, Blue Wisp, Red Wisp, Shield Oscillator, Power Oscillator, Shield Drone, or Power Drone.

For the 4 year veteran reward, players receive the Battle Hardened badge and the choice of a Summon Pet Power.

There are 8 different pets the player can choose from: The Light Fairy, the Dark Fairy, the Blue Wisp, the Red Wisp, the Shield Oscillatory, the Power Oscillator, the Shield Drone, and the Power Drone. Each gives a specific bonus to you and your team.

The Veteran Reward will be available after the live update on Wednesday March 5th, 2008!

Read more here.

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