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Pirates of the Burning Sea : European Pre-Order Date

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Jon Wood

Flying Lad Software has announced their European Pre-Order date. Europeans will be able to order the game on December 12th.

he retail pre-order for European players is scheduled to start on December 12th. We are working with our friends at SOE to gather a list of retail locations and will publish that information just as soon as we receive it. Customers who pre-order will receive the same benefits as the North American pre-order:

-An invitation to the “Pre-Boarding Party” allowing them access to the live game up to 15 days prior to launch, and the ability to keep their characters, skills and equipment after launch with purchase of game and paid subscription (characters will have a level cap of 20 during this time)

-Captain’s Best Friend ? a blue and yellow parrot

-Mighty Blades: Swedish Rapier, Old World Steel or Musketeer?s Matching Blades (depending upon which fighting style is selected)

-Original Game Soundtrack CD ? 60 minutes of pirate themed music (comes in pre-order box)

Read the whole article here.

EverQuest II : Tunaria Zone Review

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Jon Wood

SOE, the people behind the hit MMORPG, EverQuest II, have released a new Tunaria Zone Review for our reading pleasure.

New Tunaria is what is left of the Everquest city of Felwithe. It's a stunning beauty among the areas of Everquest 2.

The levels I'd recommend going there are the higher 50's. But, it's also recommended to bring a group since unlike in EQ no one is really welcome anymore in New Tunaria. Yes, that's right, is not a city anymore, but more of a hunting area. There are various spots though where shinies spawn for those that can't find a group quickly, so even while waiting for one there's something to do.

Once you gathered a group you can head straight in, there are two quests I'd recommend picking up as they will lead you all around that beautiful zone. Those two quests start in two towers which you'll easily find at the top from an examinable book. Once you picked up Devotion and Purification as they are called, head towards the Temple of Growth for a prayer.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Why Are EVErs Looking Forward to Trinity

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Jon Wood

The MMORPG.com hosted EVE: Downtime Sucks chat has been a huge success. While we had so many players gathered in our chat room, we decided to ask them why they were looking forward to the Trinity expansion.

Starting on Tuesday night and running straight through until Wednesday night, MMORPG.com has been hosting a chat in our IRC channel on Coldfront. The reason for this unusual chat is the 24 hours of downtime that CCP needs in order to update their server with the highly-anticipated Trinity expansion.

Trinity, which hits the game when the servers return on Wednesday evening, is a free expansion that many of EVE’s players have been looking forward to for quite some time. The crowning glory of this expansion is a full and quite honestly astounding graphical upgrade if the screenshots and videos that we have seen are any indication.

A new look isn’t all that Trinity brings to the table for fans of the space-based sandbox game. The expansion will also include new ships, new content and a slew of other odds and ends that promise to expand the already popular universe’s player base.

During the 24 hour chat, MMORPG.com asked some of the attendees what exactly they were looking forward to about this expansion:

Read the whole thing here.

Spellborn : Live Dev Chat!

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Laura Genender

Please join us on Sunday, December 16th at 1pm EST, for another MMORPG.com dev chat!

On Sunday, December 16th, join MMORPG.com and the minds behind The Chronicles of Spellborn - upcoming MMO - for discussion about the game's upcoming combat system!  Starting at 1pm EST in the MMORPG.com Live Chatroom, Spellborn community management team and the combat game designer will answer your questions and share information about the TCoS combat system.  Bring a question, bring a friend! After the chat, be sure to stick around for TCoS and other MMORPG discussion.

Users can also connect via any IRC client, to server irc.coldfront.net. The chat will take place in #mmorpg.

Learn more about the Chronicles of Spellborn here!

Spellborn : Dev Journal - Mob Behavior

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Jon Wood

The guys over at The Chronicles of Spellborn have released a nw Dev Journal. This time around, thye're talking about Mob Behavior.

ll though the title might suggest that this is purely an AI related journal, I’m going to stick to the gamedesign side of the subject. Or at least, try to.
I’m also going to try and not just give the situation of Spellborn, but rather talk about possibilities and why I think some choice are good or bad.

Goals
First some goals must be set, what do we want to achieve when a player fights a non-player (mob). Should the mob fight back or maybe run away in fear? If there is a fight, what should the player experience?
A challenge? Okay, but easier said then done, challenge because? Mob hits hard or mob is hard to hit, mob heals itself or does the mob have a couple friends waiting around the corner? Besides, making something a challenge doesn’t necessarily make it fun. So, the goals will have to be thought through and might evolve a bit during the early stages of the project to achieve the desired ‘vision’ which they all contribute to.
Combining all these goals will actually decide a large portion of the core gameplay so getting them down on (digital) paper is of the essence. Goals should be clear and simple, so everybody can easily understand them, yet they should cover every aspect and leave no questions unanswered.
As an example I will handle a (well known) goal set for Spellborn.
Never should a player be just as effective with his hands in the air as on his mouse, keyboard.

Check out the whole thing here.

Warhammer Online : New Community Relations Director

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Jon Wood

Robert Mull, the new Community Relations Director for EA Mythic has posted a letter of introduction over on the WAR Herald.

 

Greetings All,

I’m Robert Mull, the new Community Relations Director for EA Mythic.  I oversee the work our team of Community Coordinators do for Warhammer Online (James Nichols), Dark Age of Camelot (Missy Hatch and Joanne Laroche) and Ultima Online (Jeremy Dalberg).  They are a great team and I am lucky to have inherited them.

As a gamer who got his start in MMOs with the Ultima Online beta, being allowed to support the same community that made that game so enjoyable to me is a real pleasure and I feel like I have come full circle.  Since then a decade has passed and I have played countless MMOs.  A few of these became part of my daily routine for years as I worked to found guilds, build cities, run player-events, engage in pvp conflicts, roleplay, and be an active member of the gaming community.  While the games have changed over the years, the real draw for me has always been the people.  A strong well-supported community makes good games great.

Prior to coming to EA Mythic, I worked at Wizards of the Coast supporting brands such as Avalon Hill, Axis & Allies, Dreamblade, Duel Masters and other products.  I learned many lessons there that I have brought with me to EA Mythic, but first and foremost is that you have to be honest and open with your community.

In the coming months you will be hearing much more from me.  I want to continue and extend the reputation EA Mythic has built for integrity, honesty and quality in community and customer support. Our job here is to be the voice of the community inside EA Mythic and the voice of the people working hard at EA Mythic to the community.  The Community Relations team is a feedback loop and our goal is making the community better, day by day.  I, for one, take that job very seriously and enjoy it immensely.

I look forward to talking to you all on the boards and at Road Trips, conventions and other public events.

- Bob

Closing Read more here.

Wonderland Online : Pet System

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Jon Wood

IGG has released information on the pet system for their upcoming MMORPG, Wonderland Online.

Wonderland Online (http://wl.igg.com), the new MMORPG from IGG, will officially launch its closed beta in 2008 March. Today players have a chance to see what the pet system for Wonderland Online is like.

The pet system for Wonderland Online is quite different from other online games’ pet systems. So far, the pet system of Wonderland Online has offered more than one hundred different pets for players to choose from. Various pets can not only bring a lot of fun to players, but also can do different things in terms of their types. For instance, a dog can deliver your mail, the pterosaur can enable you to fly freely in the sky, and some offensive pets can help you when fighting against enemies. In addition, different pets have different qualities, according to the four elements, with each pet having only one element that allows them to restrain corresponding pets, which makes the game more interesting.

Players can obtain pets through capture or trade, but sometimes you need to do certain quests to obtain certain pets. Want to obtain a special and practical pet? You can’t miss their quests in game. Taking your beloved pets to level up can benefit you a lot, because they will be very helpful when they are at correspondingly high levels, and the Intimacy Degree will be increased as well. In a word, players must devote a lot to their pets if they want them to be the super stars in game!

  1. How to capture pets: Players can click the “little hand” icon and then click the pets they want to capture. It’s very easy, but don’t forget that players can only capture a pet whose level is equal to or below yours.
  2. Capturing pets won’t consume your mana. Some pets in the game cannot be captured. However, if you do capture a pet, its level will descend to 1 automatically when you obtain it, which also means their experience will return to 0, with 50 Loyalty Degree.
  3. All the pets that you are allowed to capture can be ridden, which can make you look really cool and allow you to travel swiftly, even more , these pets will become players’ real companions. If you select “Combat Mode” , you can’t ride pets, but they will follow players around.

Apart from the pets that have been mentioned above and traditional animal pets, there are also human pets! Magellan, Columbus, and even ET can be your close friends!

More on Wonderland Online here.

Zu Online : New Pets

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Jon Wood

IGG has announced the debut of five new pets to their MMO ZU Online. you can find screenshots of the little critters in our gallery.

Players will meet some new pets in the next version of Zu Online(http://zu.igg.com/), and apart from the Flying Pig, Wildfire, and Narwal that were mentioned last time, today the Zu team will introduce another 5 new pets to players.

Plume Roc, which lives near North Lake, has a midnight black body so dark that it almost seems to suck in the light around it. Because of the magical powers it is said to possess, people usually call it the Magic Eagle. Players can also ride it to enjoy flying through the beautiful peaks of Zu.

Jade Roc, Whitebrow’s beloved pet is able to communicate with people, and ordinary evil monsters are afraid to approach it due to its inner power and sense of goodness. Players can also fly on it as well.

Jade Tortoise, which lives in the East Sea, is said to be the Zin Twins’ pet.

Snowy Sophist, lives in the North and usually appears in places that are far away from human beings. It used to be the Snow Demon’s mount.

Finally, the Green Fungus Horse, used to be a beast of Sky Lake, afterwards it ate a thousand years old Fungus and became a magic mount.

More Zu here.

Voyage Century Online : Christmas Event

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Jon Wood

The folks at Voyage Century have released information on their upcoming Christmas event.

Christmas is almost here, and the Voyage Century (http://vc.igg.com) team will be giving players three big surprises to celebrate this festival.

Christmas Surprises

First Surprise: With the new version of Voyage Century, “Doom Treasure” coming in Dec, players who register accounts in the new version will be offered a Dragon Head Cannon Battleship, Navigation Star, and Star of Land which are all very useful items for beginners.

Second Surprise: When the new version is launched, players can enjoy one and a half experience for 7 days.

Third Surprise: Santa lost his 6 reindeer, and he will not be able to give out Christmas gifts without them. Players will be offered big rewards including 20,000 reputation, a Christmas costume (worth 14 USD) and 10 million silvers if they can find all 6 of Santa’s reindeer.

Reindeer Hunting

Key Man: Santa

Event Requirement: Reputation>=65,000 & Notoriety=0

Quest Contents: Players should find the six lost reindeer and bring them back to Santa to win big rewards.

Event Rewards: Reputation: 20000; Coin: 10 million; 1 Christmas Gift Package.

More on VCO here.

Tabula Rasa : Review Part One - Levels 1 - 25

Posted Dec 05, 2007 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Community Manager Laura Genender has been playing Tabula Rasa since its launch a month ago. Wanting to be fair to the game, we have decided to break this review into two parts, this one, describing Laura's early experiences in the game as she leveled from 1-25, the next is an account of her late and end game experience, where she will officially score the game.

Since my First Look article, the game has lived up to my standards of “fun” though the polish is slowly peeling away as I march through the levels. Levels 1 through 15 were smooth and enjoyable, with one minor bug in a small, unimportant mission. My entire time spent on Concordia Wilderness (the starting map) was a blast.

Things changed, though once I left Wilderness and entered Concordia Divide/Palisades. It almost feels like they rushed the game out after polishing the first map, with intentions of catching up after launch. There were/are issues with control points not triggering correctly, missions with broken steps, and bosses not spawning. A lot of the issues – especially those on Divide – were fixed with the last patch, and I’m sure the Palisades bugs will be next. The good news is, the bugs are getting fixed quickly and developers are listening to what bugs are high priority to the players. The customer service team is also on top of things, and will fix missed flags/bugged missions for you if you petition. If you’re a casual player you should be fine to start Tabula Rasa today; if you’re a hardcore leveler, expect to outpace the fixes and content quickly.

Other than the bugginess, the majority of gameplay is engaging and exciting. Control Points, especially, are absolutely fantastic. It’s hard not to feel invested and immersed when you see that red flag glaring at you off your map, and you know those damned Bane just took over River-base Krimm. Even if you don’t need the attack tokens, it’s hard to resist haring off to retake the Bane base.

Read the whole review here.

Lineage 2 : The Kamael Movie

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Ben Krueger

NCsoft has released this new movie featuring footage from the upcoming free L2 expansion The Kamael.  The upcoming expansion features more than 1 GB worth of content and features for all level of players.

Video Interview The Kamael Movie
This video showcases some of the massive content updates in store for L2 when this free update goes live.

Watch more here.

EVE Online : The "Downtime Sucks" Live Chat

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Laura Genender

On Tuesday night at 9pm EST (2:00 GMT) the EVE servers will be brought down for 24 hours while they add the Trinity update.

Downtime sucks, even if it's for a good reason.  And if you're wondering what to do while the universe is closed, come stop by the MMORPG.com Live Chat to hang out with friends, plot the downfall of your enemies, moon over the Trinity graphics, and gripe about downtime. Imaginary punch and pie will be available.

Event starts at 9pm EST (2:00 GMT) and goes until CONCORD breaks us up.  Users can connect via our Live Chat javaclient or via any IRC client, to server irc.coldfront.net port 6667.  The chat will take place in #mmorpg.

Myth War : Christmas Events

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that they will be holding a series of Christmas events in Myth War Online's item mall.

Christmas Day is fast approaching, so the Myth War team will be holding a series of activities in the item mall, as well as in the forum.

Item Mall Activity

Myth War has prepared some new items for Christmas, including the Evil Egg and Evil Egg Flask. Besides, a new interesting activity called “Billiken” VS “Mascot” will be held to entertain players.

“Billiken” vs “Mascot”

Event Duration:0:00 EST Dec 1st --11:59pm EST Dec 31st Event Content: Players can buy point cards to obtain credits, and then they can participate in the Egg-knocking activity. If players knock many eggs and obtain many rewards, they will be Billiken, otherwise they are Mascot.

Event Rewards:The Billiken and the Mascot can obtain one Saint Pet (Ocean Loong).

There are some slight adjustments to Egg-Knocking System, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 will represent The Top Prize, the Unexpected Prize, the Lucky Prize, the Surprising Prize and Honorable Prize respectively. The original rewards won’t be changed.

Read more here.

Asda Story : Open Beta December 6th

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Keith Cross

Game&Game has announced that the open beta for Asda Story will begin on Thursday December 6th.

Seoul, Korea - December 4, 2007 - Soulmates are ready again to enhance Party system. Parties are ready to kill monsters. Solos are ready to be unique and lead Asda Story. No Twins in the game to get down with.

Huge difference from CBT was developed by MaxOn Soft Corp.

  • There are Specified Skills for all of the characters
  • Collecting Unique Optional Item Sets
  • New 5 Maps with New Goals
  • Enchanting all Armories and Sowels
  • Faster Transportation
  • Digging.

For Open Beta Service, we arranged data to specify one's characteristics among different jobs. There will be no changes in the base settings, but in long term, we adjusted to bring up characters' potential skills 100%. Items with options were added that users can find many different sets of unique items with purposes. For example, there will be healers costume set which will provide extra healing points to increase healing. Users can collect them and use them when needed. For more details and images, you can find out at our website http://asda.gamengame.com.

Read more about Asda Story here.

Angels Online : Closed Beta Begins

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Keith Cross

IGG has announced that the closed beta for Angels Online has begun. Players can now begin playing with all of the cute characters in the land of Eden.

The long-awaited Closed Beta Test for Angels Online has begun since 00:00 EST Dec 3, 2007!

At that time players can visit http://ao.igg.com/download/download.php to download the client. If you have an IGG account, you can activate Angels Online on the IGG website to start your adventure in Eden.

Angels Online is a 2D MMORPG with distinctive game systems including engrossing storylines, a natural and cute graphic style, liberal character growth, fierce fighting and harmonious communities. A cheerful experience with amazing scenes, partners, lovely rides and pets is waiting for players in Angels Online.

Read more here.

General : Beyond the MMORPG - Assassin's Creed

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Jon Wood

In our Beyond the MMORPG column, we take a look at a game that doesn't fit into our genre and speculate about how that game could be used to positively influence our genre. This week ,Donna Desborough takes a peek at Assassin's Creed.

Assassin's Creed has been anticipated for a long time from UbiSoft. The amount of hype and mystery surrounding this game has been tremendous. I wasn't immune to all the excitement mounting up and even bought the limited edition with the lovely resin statue.

I think the most obvious place to start is with the amazing graphics. The developers managed to make a game that just makes you want to stare at it. There are no separate CGI graphics sequences for cut-scenes; it's all the in game graphics. Now that alone should tell you something about the beauty of this game. There's more than just bloom encrusted pretty pixels to stare at though.

Read it all here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Exploring Middle-earth: Ost Forod

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Keith Cross

The Lord of the Rings Online Lorebook has been updated with a look at another description of one of the Tolkien inspired locations created by the folks at Turbine.

Rumors of lost treasure brought adventurous Men back into the region surrounding Lake Evendim, where the ruins of Annúminas and the tombs of the Kings of Arnor remain. These treasure-hunters established a town and trading post in the northern reaches of those lands, amongst the ruins of the old fortress of Ost Forod. Here they were content to scavenge for trinkets unearthed by time and weather, hunt the great Harts of the North, and trade with the Lossoth, the strange and sometimes dangerous Snowmen of Forochel.

In these latter days, a less savory element has entered the ranks of the Men of Ost Forod: brigands and tomb-robbers who plunder the very graves of the Dúnedain themselves. Though the Men of Ost Forod have chosen an arbiter from among their ranks to administer some form of law and justice, he can do little to stem the swelling tide of lawless men.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Trinity on the Horizon

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Keith Cross

The folks at EVE Online have posted more detailed information on the deployment of the Trinity expansion, including server down times, updated patch notes, and a reminder to train a skill with a long training time.

The time for EVE to evolve from beautiful to gorgeous is approaching! Trinity, EVE Online's newest content expansion, will be deployed on Wednesday 5 December, commencing at 0200 GMT. Tranquility and the EVE forums will be unavailable for the length of the deployment, both are expected to return to service by 0200 GMT on Thursday 6 December.

Trinity is EVE Online's largest expansion to date and centers around a new graphics system. EVE players with DirectX9c and Shader 3 capable graphics cards can choose to upgrade their clients to Trinity's Premium Graphics Content. Players without cards supporting DX9c and Shader 3 technology will play EVE with the Classic Graphics Content, but will be able to upgrade once their system meet the Premium Graphics Content requirements. To see a preview of EVE: Trinity, you can download the 102M HD1080p EVE: Trinity Trailer or the smaller 64M HD720p EVE: Trinity Trailer. Other features may be found on the EVE: Trinity Feature Site.

Detailed Features, Improvements and Balance Changes, as well as a comprehensive list of Fixes and Changes are now available. Due to the scope of the expansion, the list had to be split into two sections. Updates to the Patch Notes will be made throughout the weekend, new additions, edits and changes will be highlighted with green text.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Sate of the Game

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Keith Cross

The latest State of the Game article is up on the Guild Wars official site.  This week  they look at the quality of various team builds.

When it comes to Heroes' Ascent many people use the term "gimmick" when defining most team-builds because they compare the builds to GvG. The problem with that comparison, however, is that Heroes' Ascent and Guild Battles have different objectives. The objective in every Guild Battle is to kill the enemy Guild Lord (or give each player on the opposing team 60% Death Penalty). The objectives in Heroes' Ascent, though, change with each map. The criteria for determining whether a build is balanced or "gimmicky" are essentially different for Heroes' Ascent than for Guild Battles. Also, gimmick builds in Heroes' Ascent are often used to farm fame in the first map or two, while balanced builds are used to progress all the way to the Hall of Heroes.

One way to determine if a build is balanced or gimmicky is to examine how well it can adapt tactics to achieve the objectives and challenges on each map. Can the build split well and be mobile enough for the Antechamber's control points? Does it provide options for relic runners when playing in Unholy Temples? Is there enough offensive power to win in Annihilation maps like the Underworld? Questions like these are an effective way to determine the balance of a build.

Legoway

As an example of a balanced Heroes' Ascent build, I present what has been commonly called "Legoway." This build has a single melee character (typically a Warrior), two Defensive Anthem Paragons, a fire Elementalist (usually carrying Savannah Heat), a Shatterstone water Elementalist, a Psychic Distraction Mesmer, and two Monks. Although Legoway might be considered one of many "flavor-of-the-month" builds, it has the necessary tools to adapt to the various maps and their different objectives.

Read more here.

Angels Online : Giving Out 10,000 Beta Keys!

Posted Dec 04, 2007 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com has just been given 10,000 beta keys for Angels Online and we are authorized to give them out to our community on a first come, first serve basis.

This beta test is open to all members of MMORPG.com so get your beta key now and get into the test!

TO GET YOUR KEY JUST CLICK HERE!

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