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General : NC West Restructuring

Posted Feb 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

NC West has announced restructuring that will effect 70 - 90 employees that will see, but is not exclusive to, certain departments being moved from outside of specific game studios directly into those studios. The possibility exists for the displaced employees to move to those (and other) vacancies.

Said an NC West Spokesperson:

In order to solidify and streamline company operations across all NCsoft West territories, we are implementing some structural changes this week which will impact 70 to 90 employees. We are working with these employees to determine the best fit for approximately 80 alternate positions within the company.

The European office is transitioning to have a stronger focus in marketing and sales, with many of the existing disciplines being consolidated in our studios on the US West Coast and our headquarters in Seattle. Additionally, we are transitioning to an embedded quality assurance (QA) model in which the QA staff works in our studios directly with the development teams, providing support throughout the entire development process.

This finalizes the NCsoft West reorganization plan which began last September, and the resulting structure will better support the company’s direction. 


EverQuest II : Recruit-A-Friend Program

Posted Feb 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

SOE has announced details of their new Recruit-A-Friend program for EverQuest II, giving players the opportunity to earn game time and other rewards for bringing new players into the fold.

The EverQuest II Recruit-A-Friend program is a unique promotion that rewards you with free gameplay time (to be added to the end of your then-current subscription) and exclusive in-game items for each new player you bring into the game who becomes an active subscriber of EQII. If you have ever held a paid EQII subscription that is currently in good standing, whether active or inactive, you can take advantage of this amazing opportunity to have fun playing with your friends and earn exciting rewards for it. Don't wait. Get started today!

Read more here.

DC Universe Online : Hands-On Report

Posted Feb 11, 2009 by Jon Wood's hasani Davis recently had the opportunity to sit down and get some hands-on time with Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming superhero MMO, DC Universe Online.

Recently, I attended Comic Con New York, where I was able to get a hands-on demo of DC Universe, Sony Online Entertainment’s upcoming MMO. Still with no confirmed release date, the playable demo (taking place in Metropolis), was smooth and fully animated. The demo allowed me to play as either a created villan or as a created superhero. The booth drew a HUGE crowd at the Comic Con this Saturday. Fans hovered around me as I got to rundown by Wes Yanagi, Creative Director behind SOE’s highly anticipated superhero action MMO.

The game’s backstory is based on a version of the DC universe suited for the game itself but with pleanty of elements of classic DC universe. So if Superman died (again) in your Wendsday comics, he will still be alive and kicking in DCU. Alternate realities or “universes” are nothing new to the world of comic books, and it always works best if you take each new incarnation of the stories with a grain of salt. It’s an interesting take on the use of an IP, no?

Read the DC Universe Online Hands-On Report

Twelve Sky 2 : New Screenshots

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Keith Cross

Along with the announcement that Twelve Sky 2 will be entering closed beta late in February, the developers behind this game sent along eight new screenshots for your viewing pleasure.


See more Twelve Sky 2 Screenshots.

Lord of the Rings Online : Hero’s Guide to the Redhorn Lodes

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Keith Cross

Turbine has posted a guide for players wishing to learn the secrets of the Misty Mountains and the cavernous depths beneath the peak known as the Redhorn.

A great and terrible peak, its sides streaked the color of drying blood, its summit capped in stiff snow, looms at the heart of the Misty Mountains. The Dwarves call it Barazinbar. The Elves named it Caradhras. But it is best known by its common-tongue appellation: the Redhorn.

Far below the peak—beneath its namesake pass, below and between the gates of mighty Khazad-dûm, in the roots of the mountain—the Dwarves mined the ruddy stones of the Redhorn. They cut through rock and ore, dug out shining gems and lustrous veins of metal, laid down iron rails, and built up noble mansions. They hollowed out a hole in the mountain and left it hollow.

Read more here.

Spellborn : Building a Tutorial for Spellborn

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at The Chronicles of Spellborn recently put together a Developer Blog which takes a look at the efforts and philosophy behind the game's new tutorial.

In the last post (Easy to learn…hard to master) we explained how assumptions have caused problems in experiencing Spellborn. We assumed that controls (2 hands simultaneously) and game play (dodging, agile movement) would come naturally to people.

When designing the tutorial, our first focus was that “the enjoyment of Spellborn stands or falls with the players understanding of the combat system.”

Read Building a Tutorial for Spellborn

Star Wars: The Old Republic : Creating the Old Republic

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Keith Cross

Star Wars: The Old Republic Senior Content Producer Dallas Dickinson pens this dev journal discussing the job of the content team and the monumental task of constructing the the Star Wars universe in an MMO which he describes as "essentially building Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) 3 through KOTOR 10, and then shipping them all at once."

Earthrise Screenshot

What, exactly, does a “Senior Content Producer” do, you may well ask? My job is to make sure that everyone on the different groups that make up the Content Team is working together, communicating clearly and all focused on a single goal. This translates into lots and lots of planning meetings followed by lots and lots of Bug Triage to ensure that we fix the bugs that are most critical to getting a smooth gameplay experience.

How do you make sure that the largest BioWare/LucasArts game ever made happens on time, at the level of quality that people expect from BioWare? Various members of our team have said this in the press before, but I think that folks have generally thought we were being glib. Let me be clear. We aren’t kidding. Building Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ is essentially building Star Wars™: Knights of the Old Republic™ (KOTOR) 3 through KOTOR 10, and then shipping them all at once. There is as much story content here as in all BioWare games combined. As you might imagine, making sure this content all gets done, tested and tuned is a massive undertaking, and it requires the dedication and focus of everyone on the content team to make it all happen.

Read Creating the Old Republic

Twelve Sky 2 : Closed Beta Begins Feb 23rd

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Keith Cross

MAYN Interactive has announced that the closed beta for Twelve Sky 2 will begin on February 23rd.

Today MAYN Interactive Pte Ltd., European publisher for the critically acclaimed Massively Multiplayer Online Role Play Game (MMORPG) “TwelveSky 2”, has officially announced the date to which anxious players can finally wander through the perilous yet alluring towns of Ancient China.

“We are very happy to be able to bring such an elaborate and highly expected game to the Western market.” said Founder & Chief Executive Officer Young Shin. “We have many new and exciting features and projects in store for ‘TwelveSky 2’, and can’t wait to have our Beta Testers jump right in there and explore!”

Those lucky enough to snag a limited Closed Beta Key (soon to be distributed) will be able to download the client in advance in order to prepare for the flood gates to open on February 23rd. Closed Beta will be divided into two segments; The first of which, Phase I, will start on February 23rd and continue until March 9th. Phase II will start from the last week of March.

“TwelveSky 2”, successor to the already popular game “TwelveSky”, harnesses the full potential of the self-developed game engine, GXD, which results in improved graphics and game play. Additionally “TwelveSky 2” will be introducing new mechanics such as item crafting, a new player race, and riding mounts, among others, as well as sporting a completely new and rewritten story arch, even compared to its sister counterparts which are currently released in Asia.

A month after its initial release, "TwelveSky 2" soared to the Top 5 position in the MMO genre in Korea and the Taiwanese version is quickly gaining speed. Now aiming for Europe, the game is setting up to be a major success within the Free-to-Play space.

Read more here.

EVE Online : EVE Tops 50k Players Online at Once

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced that they have broken their record for the most players simultaneously online on EVE's single server, beating their previous record by more than three and a half thousand players.

EVE Online Screenshot

Due in large to the Alliance Tournament VI finale this weekend, the PCU (Peak Concurrent User) record was broken the third time this year with 51,675 pilots logging in to the single-shard world that is EVE Online. That's well above the previous record of 48,065 and signifies the largest PCU jump we've ever had to break the 50k milestone.

In addition, recent goings on between major player Alliances, a vengeance-fueled assassination during last weekend's Tournament rounds and general excitement about the impending release of EVE Online: Apocrypha have all combined to energize just about everyone--players, the CCP Dev Team, media and people who have never even encountered EVE before but are now quite curious.

Like always the true credit goes to you, the players, who give EVE the unmeasurable depth that makes it unique. Thank you.

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Valentine's Day Events

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has announced a series of events and bonuses to celebrate Valentine's Day in City of Heroes.

It's that time of year again...when heroes and villains throw roses and boxes of chocolates to the wind in lieu of some real heart-pumping action! Welcome to Spring Fling...otherwise known as Valentine's Day-- City of Heroes/Villains style.

Starting today through February 22nd, grab your loved one and jump in-game for cool V-Day related missions, a chance to acquire unique badges and the ability to score special temporary powers!

Love may be in the air, but it's also in-game, so check out the Official Spring Fling Page and join in the festivities.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Exploring Middle-earth: Zirakzigil

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Keith Cross

The folks at Lord of the Rings Online continue their look at the various interesting locals in Middle-earth, today taking a look at Zirakzigil, the Silvertine, the mountain peak above Moria where Gandalf battled the Balrog.

Zirakzigil, the Silvertine, known also as Celebdil the White in the Elvish tongue, is one of three peaks of the Misty Mountains, below which lie the cavernous halls of Moria, the ancient dwarf-home of Khazad-dûm. It is said that Durin the Deathless once stood upon its peak, but that knowledge is lost, deep in the memory of the Ages.

In more recent times, a great battle of flame and lightning took place upon Zirakzigil, and the mountainside was broken. Any who chanced to behold the great battle thought a terrible storm raged in the mountains. The truth only became known at a later time…

Read more here.

D&D Online : Valentine's Day Bonuses and Contest

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Keith Cross

Turbine has announced that players of Dungeons&Dragons Online will receive experience and loot bonuses in honor of Valentine's Day, starting February 12th until the 17th. In addition, players can also participate in the DDO Valentine Screenshot Contest.

Valentines day is around the corner, and while love is in the air for some, we wanted to express our love for DDO and our players too...

Starting this Thursday, February 12th, and running through February 17th, DDO Players will gain a 25% XP bonus and +1 tier bonus loot quality! Additionally, be sure to join us for our Valentine's Day themed Screenshot contest! Click here to find out how you can participate!

Read more about the bonuses here.

Read about the screenshot contest here.

World of Warcraft : Optimizing With Professions

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Jon Wood World of Warcraft Correspondent Robert Duckworth writes this look at getting the most out of your professions in Blizzard's World of Warcraft

WoW Screenshot

Optimizing your equipment is a part of almost any MMO, and WoW follows this trend closely. So closely it could be argued that the game doesn't really start until you are level 80. There are the typical ways of increasing your equipment: raiding dungeons, grouping up for heroics, PvP rewards, and questing. Crafting has always been a possible method of gear progression, but it often falls behind as players quickly outpace what they can make. Many players do not see this as a bad thing though, at least not at the level cap. There have been crafted items before that became so powerful everybody wanted one. Probably the most notorious example would come from TBC, where the Stormherald quickly became known as the PvP weapon of choice for warriors.

Read Optimizing With Professions

Atlantica Online : Communities Developer Journal

Posted Feb 10, 2009 by Jon Wood

Today, we here at continue our series of Atlantica Online Dev Journals with Kim Tae Gon, the Producer of Atlantica Online. Today, we present a look at communities.

Atlantica Onlione Screenshot

Communities, of course, play a very important role in a massively multiplayer online game. Motivated to create a fresh gaming experience with Atlantica, we felt we had to come up with something unique for the community side of our game, to go along with our other innovative features, the turn-based action and the mercenary system. What we came up with is the nation system.

There are two types of community grouping in Atlantica: guilds and nations. Guilds aren't anything new to MMO gamers, although Atlantica's guilds offer features not typically found in other games, like guild crafting. But it's the second type of community we've created that is something we believe is unique. So please allow me to go into some detail on the nation system, and what we hope to do in the future to make it better.

Read the Communities Developer Journal

Jumpgate Evolution : New Screenshots

Posted Feb 09, 2009 by Keith Cross

Our Jumpgate Evolution screenshot gallery has been updated with eight new images from the upcoming sci-fi MMO from NetDevil.


See more Jumpgate Evolution Screenshots

DOFUS : Ecaflip Overview

Posted Feb 09, 2009 by Jon Wood Dofus Correspondent Christy Bazell writes this look at the Ecaflip class in the MMORPG, Dofus.

Dofus screenshot

Do you crave adventure? Love the feeling of adrenaline rushing in your veins as you tempt faith? Do you live on the edge taking chances, relying on luck?

The Ecaflip is the class for you!

This class relies on the luck of the draw and the throw of the dice. You never know if the odds are in your favour. Some fights will have you shouting with glee while the next has you wallowing in sorrow.

For the Ecaflip there is excitement in every battle, fighting on the edge of your or die!

Read the Ecaflip Overview

World of Warcraft : Patch 3.1.0 Class Change Details

Posted Feb 09, 2009 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has posted part three of their preview of upcoming class changes in patch 3.1.0 for World of Warcraft. This time the focus is on the Mage, Paladin, Hunter and Death Knight.


  • Gargoyle and Unholy Blight have swapped talent positions. Gargoyle’s damage has increased and runic power cost per time has decreased.
  • Pestilence – this spell no longer causes damage but just spreads diseases. Blood Boil is intended to be the general area attack, and has been changed to be castable on targets with no diseases on them, but does extra damage if diseases are present.
  • Unbreakable Armor now absorbs a flat amount of damage that increases as your armor increases. It no longer boosts armor.
  • The Frost tree has been shuffled. Among other things, PvP talents such as Endless Winter are closer to the top of the tree where Blood and Unholy death knights can access them.
  • Sudden Doom – this talent now procs a Death Coil rather than requiring an additional button click. It works similarly to shamans’ Lightning Overload.
  • Magic Suppression and Blood of the North have been reduced to 3 ranks for the same benefit.
  • Blood Gorged now grants armor penetration instead of expertise.

Wrath of the Lich King Screen

Read more here.

Read more about changes to other classes here.

Conquer Online : Valentine's Day Events

Posted Feb 09, 2009 by Keith Cross

TQ Games has revealed details about the Valentin's Day events they're holding in Conquer Online.

According to Chinese legend, fox genies usually disguise themselves as pretty maidens, seducing men to absorb their spiritual energy and life. However, in some scenarios, some fox genies fall in love with their mortal prey, and may wish to give up their magic power for true love.

According to this tale, the TQ team has prepared a dramatic Valentine Quest, in which players will be able to help a virtuous fox genie fight prejudice and gain her true happy ending. Moreover, players can enter Fox Eden to make a Valentine wish and quiz.

Read more here.

Last Chaos : Two New Dungeons Added

Posted Feb 09, 2009 by Keith Cross

Aeria Games has announced the addition of two new dungeons in Last Chaos which feature new skills and AI for enemies, and new loot for players.

Santa Clara, Calif. (February 9, 2009) - Aeria Games' global version of Last Chaos has released two new exciting dungeons. The dungeons titled Quanian and Golem are the first wave of new content to hit Last Chaos in preparation for one of the biggest content expansion the game has seen to date.

The new dungeons feature:

  • All new monster A.I. Including never before seen skills, and weapon types
  • New Armor and Weapons for players
  • New items, including "Phoenix Tickets", which allow players to transform into a Phoenix character to do battle with the forces of evil.

Quanian and Golem are just one piece of the planned Last Chaos Global expansion pack which will be delivered in two parts over the next several months. The expansion packs will include even more armor, weapons and items. They will also introduce unique gameplay elements such as a PvP team's dungeon, a new level cap and a hefty amount of intriguing new skills and abilities for existing players.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Grab Bag: Murder Edition

Posted Feb 09, 2009 by Keith Cross

The latest edition of the WAR Grab Bag has been posted in the WAR Herald, answering common player questions about the new Night of Murder Event which is running now in Warhammer Online.

Q. Will you be able to do unlocks from previous days, or will you have to log on every day?

A. All of the challenges will be unlocked starting on day 1 and remain that way through the end of the event.

Q. Will players who are "Marked for Death" get any sort of benefits, like a stat buff?

A. No - Part of the event is not knowing when you are marked, so having any sort of benefit would defeat that.

Read more here.

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