Our own Reed Hubbard recently got the chance to take a tour of the upcoming free expansion for EVE Online - "Exodus". This new expansion will add many new and exciting aspects to the game. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Although classified as a MMORPG, EVE Online has often danced in the fringes of the genre. Developer Crowd Control Productions has chosen to embrace a rich economic framework and loosely restricted PvP over more conventional MMORPG trappings. This approach has garnered the persistent universe many fans, but has left others cold as the depths of space. However, this may all change soon. The epic universe of EVE Online is about to experience a major upheaval with its next expansion. Formerly known by the codename Shiva, the upcoming addition to EVE Online is entitled Exodus, and it represents a huge leap forward in both content and direction.
One of the new features in the Exodus expansion is the introduction of complexes. Alternately known as "dungeons," complexes are progressive Player vs. Environment settings where groups of players must defeat numerous NPC opponents to gain access to more difficult stages. For example, a gang of players may defeat a number of pirates to obtain the key to a dormant jumpgate. Upon activation, the gang jumps to a zone not accessible through conventional means of travel where the players must overcome more challenging opposition. Successful completion of all stages may yield the conquerors rare items, huge monetary rewards, and other desirable loot.
To read the full preview complete with exclusive screens, click here.
Nevrax recently posted a nice overview of what players can expect to see in the second episode for The Saga of Ryzom, "Open Conflict".
Below are some highlights of what to expect:
For more information, check out the official site at this link.
ArenaNet is holding a new contest where they will be giving away 10 full beta accounts for Guild Wars (this is the full beta, not the weekend event stuff!)
Here is a summary of the contest quoted from their site:
|The Guild Wars Team would like to invite all of you who participated in the World Preview Event and Beta Weekend Event to submit your best battle report for consideration in our Guild Wars Battle Report Contest. We will select the ten best combat stories based on Guild-versus-Guild warfare. The ten best stories will be immortalized on our website, and the writers of these heroic tales will receive an invitation to join the ongoing Guild Wars Beta Test.|
You can read the official contest rules at this link.
Duplex Systems recently announced that they have partnered with Jolt.uk for their hosting services for their upcoming sci-fi MMORPG Face of Mankind. The official announcement is below:
|London - 16th November 2004 - Jolt Online Gaming, Europe's largest independent online gaming network, is pleased to announce that it is providing hosting and infrastructure for the German-developed MMORPG, Face of Mankind.|
A sophisticated role-playing game set in the 24th century; Face of Mankind combines action and social elements to create a unique online experience where the battle of good and evil is depicted in shades of grey.
Jolt will utilise its extensive experience in the hosting and support of online games to help ensure the game's success in Europe and elsewhere. As one of the fastest growing and most competitive markets in the entertainment industry, the quality of service delivered by MMOGs is critical. Bringing a proven track record in the area, Jolt continues to operate at the forefront of this constantly changing market by offering an envied level of experience and network infrastructure.
Aimed at those gamers looking for a more original massively-multiplayer experience, Face of Mankind offers a unique economy model and player created missions, putting a greater emphasis on political interaction. The game is currently in closed beta testing. Further information can be found at www.fomportal.com
"We're very happy to be working with Jolt, who we believe to be the ideal partner for our first MMOG release", said Marko Dieckmann, Managing Director of Duplex Systems, "We're confident that our game will appeal to a more sophisticated type of gamer and look forward to a highly successful launch."
Thomas Brockhage, General Manager of Ojom GmbH, which will be publishing the game, added: "Jolt has positioned itself as the prime provider of hosting services in the MMORPG space. We are confident that Duplex', Jolt's and Ojom's combined efforts will ensure a smooth release and give this fantastic product the necessary level of operational reliability."
Dominic Silk, CEO of Jolt said: "As avid online gamers we know a great concept when we see one, and we're delighted to take over hosting responsibilities for Face of Mankind ? not just to provide the best service possible, but to help raise awareness of another game that isn't just a by-the-numbers MMORPG."
It is that time of week again, where Lyra Studios fills us in on the status of their upcoming MMORPG set in a dreamworld and featuring hard core roleplaying - Reclamation. Here is what is going on:
MMORPG.com is proud to present our recent partnership with Kaos Systems to bring our members cutting-edge gaming systems at an affordable price! You will see some ads around the site for these and eventually we will feature a more "built-in" area for you to shop online for custom built PC's.
To access the Hardware Showcase, just click here.
Stratics will be hosting a developer chat with LucasArts where they will be talking about the recent launch of Jump To Lightspeed along with the upcoming loot system. Here are the details from them:
|Tuesday, November 16th. It will be at 5pm PDT / 8pm EDT in the #StraticsHoC channel on Stratics IRC. You can connect to one of our IRC servers through the use of your favorite IRC client, such as mIRC, ircle, xchat, or whichever you prefer. Connect to irc.stratics.com port 6667 or whichever server is closest to you: |
· stratics.frws.com port 6667, USA - Colorado
· irc.glowfish.de port 6667, EU - Germany
· stratics.afraidyet.net 6667, USA - Atlanta
· irc.epaxsys.net port 6667, USA - Colorado
You may also connect through our handy Java link which may be found right here:
IGN has just posted their 11th "question of the week" with Toby Ragaini, the Lead Designer for The Matrix Online. He discusses the circumstances in which players may have the opportunity to meet key characters such as Morpheus or the Oracle. Here is a snippet:
Q: WBIE & SEGA recently made the exciting announcement that acting talent from The Matrix movies would be lending voice overs and character likenesses to The Matrix Online game. Can you comment on how in-depth a role these characters will play in the day to day player experience? For example, can we expect to be receiving missions or chatting ingame with an NPC Morpheus that is an ingame constant, or will these key characters only make appearances during special ingame events or turning points in The Matrix Online storyline?
Toby - As you might imagine, characters like Morpheus and the Oracle are busy people with their own agendas....[more]
To read the full article click here.
Last weekend our own Richard Duffek (Kunou) attended SOE's New Orleans EverQuest Fan Faire 2004 event. He had way too much fun and required a few days to "recover" from his festivities :) He has completed his write-up of the event and we now have it ready for your reading pleasure. Here is a snippet:
I'll start my tale on Wednesday the 27th. The Fan Faire didn't actually start until Thursday the 28th, but the wackiness of that day will be far more understandable if you know about the preceding day as well. As with any case Wednesday was a really hectic day for me, but then again, isn't the day before you leave on a trip always hectic? There are always fifty million things you forgot to do. So here I was, running around all day Wednesday like a chicken with its head cut off after having only gotten two to three hours of sleep the night before. Also keep in mind; I had gotten 17 teeth pulled in the week leading up to this, so I wasn't exactly in the best frame of mind as it was, gotta love that Vicadin. Anyway, back to the tale at hand, by time I got everything done on Wednesday and was packed and ready to go, it was after 3:00am. Naturally it was about this time that I realized my plane left at 6am and not 10am as I was previously thinking. Well crude, there goes any chance for sleep that I had.
To read the full article, click here.
NPCube has announced today that they will be bringing in some new and exciting content to the next beta phase. This will include 30+ new spells, new races, sound effects and more! The official press release is below:
|REUNION ISLAND - NOVEMBER 14, 2004 -- Over 30 new spells, along with new races, sound effects, are included in the new beta test for Dark and Light, an MMORPG scheduled for commercial release in April 2005 by developer NP Cube and publisher Farlan Entertainment.|
The new array of spells, with their impressive visual effects, can now be used during fights assuming, of course, players have invested a few skill points. New spells for Fighting include Snake Attack spells (Glue, Mamba Attack, and Python Power), and Weapons Expertise spells (for Swords, Crossbows, and Critical Hilts Expertise, among others). The Healing axis also includes new spells for Healing Fundamentals Skills (such as Self Healing, Quick Healing, and Instant Healing), God Gifts Skills (God Armor Shield Expansion and God Abilities Expansion, and others), and for Guardians Invocation Skills (spells for Wolves, Bears, and Pets Healing).
New spells for "anytime" use are also included for Energy Power, Molecules Control, and Spirits Appeal Skills.
"We created these new spells with two goals in mind: to have maximum power and to be the most fun and outrageous," says Frederic Caille, CEO of Farlan Entertainment. "We expect our beta testers will enjoy these new spells and how they 'look' on the screen when they are activated."
Beta testers may continue playing human characters, but now can play new Level 5 Elf characters (Dark, Wooden, High, and Half) with 10 skill points to allocate on three axes: Fighter, Healer, and Caster. In addition, the new Dark and Light beta includes new sounds and music, as well as a new focal lens change to improve immersion.
The current closed beta is planned to run through very early 2005. For more beta information, players can visit www.darkandlight.com.
Gamespot is reporting that the legendary comic book company has filed suit against NCsoft for copyright infringement. Here is a portion of the story:
|The subject of the legal action is City of Heroes, NCsoft and Cryptic's massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Marvel is claiming that the character customization functionality in City of Heroes allows players to create superheroes that closely resemble trademarked Marvel characters. According to the AP, Marvel singled out a "mutant-based" clone of X-Men member Wolverine and "a gigantic, green, 'science-based tanker'-type hero that moves and behaves nearly identically" to the Hulk.|
Click here to read the full story.
Judith Hoffman, Executive Producer for Turbine has posted her November Producer Letter. Below is an excerpt from her article:
|In many ways, role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons are the ultimate extension of this phenomenon, which we call "shared stories." RPGs go a step further than communal book-reading or movie-watching, because the participants don't just share the experience of the story - they take the adventure provided by the DM and run with it, creating a unique shared story as they progress. The fact that these stories are created by and unique to the players gives them more ownership of the story (their story) than a group of people who are just reading the same book or watching the same movie.|
To read the full article, click here.
Mythic Entertainment proudly announced today that their highly anticipated expansion to Dark Age of Camelot - "Catacombs" has gone gold! Here is the official press release:
|Online Game's Underground Expansion featuring Graphics Overhaul to Hit Stores December 7th 2004|
FAIRFAX, VA - November 11th, 2004 - Mythic Entertainment, developer and publisher of the massively-multiplayer online role-playing game "Dark Age of Camelot," today announced that "Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs" has gone gold. This latest expansion to "Dark Age of Camelot," "Catacombs" elevates player model graphics into a leadership role in the MMORPG market with stunning detail and the ability for players to customize their character?s appearance. In addition, Private Adventuring (TM) areas challenge players to solo or group quest through unique and challenging dungeons. Players can now also choose to play five new player classes and experience the game from a new perspective. "Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs" is scheduled to be in stores on December 7, 2004 for a suggested retail price of $29.99, and has a "T" for Teen ESRB rating.
"'Catacombs' is 'Dark Age of Camelot' as you've never seen - or played - before. Everyone will be blown away by the new character and monster models. It looks like a whole new game," said Mark Jacobs, president and CEO of Mythic Entertainment. "Instanced dungeons have been a mainstay of MMORPGs for many years, and before that in some standalone games and early MUDs. Our 'Private Adventuring' areas present 'Catacombs' players with enough challenges to keep them exploring this subterranean realm of new dungeons and underground cities for a long time to come, ensuring a 'freshness' to the game that is difficult to maintain in many MMORPGs. And, as if that's not enough, there are also the five new character classes which bring new strategic elements and story to the game."
For more information on "Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs," please visit http://catacombs.darkageofcamelot.com/
ArenaNet announced that they will be moving the dates for the January "Beta Weekend Event" one week forward to better accommodate for New Year's Eve festivities. Their announcement is below:
|I wanted to send you some new information about the Guild Wars Beta Weekend Events. We have received a significant amount of player feedback concerning the scheduling of the January event. Many have been concerned about family obligations, school-related travel, and other holiday scheduling conflicts that might impact their participation in the BWE. Due to the holidays, we have decided to move the January Beta Weekend Event one weekend, so that it does not fall on the New Year's holiday. Therefore:|
The January Guild Wars Beta Weekend Event will begin at Midnight PST (08:00GMT) on Saturday, January 8th, and will end at 11:59 PST on Sunday, January 9th (07:59 GMT Monday, January 10th).
Community Relations Manager
Limitless Horizons Entertainment LLC today announced that its eagerly awaited massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Mourning will be launching in the United States on February 25, 2005 with subsequent launches occurring in Europe and Canada at a later date. A little about the game:
|Mourning is a new persistent online world set in turbulent medieval times. Mourning plunges players into a beautifully detailed world to explore, which includes underground caverns and dungeons, woodlands, mountain ranges, deep forests, ice lands, deserts, cities and towns. |
Mournings core game play is based on political and economical systems that allow for alliances, expansions, territorial conquest, player vs player battles or server events generated by Game Masters.
A unique bloodline system also exists to create many role playing possibilities, and allows for truly epic game play experiences. Players no longer are forced to stay with one character through out the game. In Mourning they can have an entire bloodline or lineage, where the founding character of a line is born into the world bearing the name that all characters born thereafter will bear. With this feature comes the ability to marry, have children, and in the case of death, the player continues living in the game world through his or her child as a playable character and receives the benefits that come with that characters existing bloodline.
"Mourning has been our largest project to date and has taken up the last 3 years of our lives" said Andrei Gireada, CEO of Newrosoft R&D and Project Manager for the highly anticipated MMO title. "When we started building a massively multi player online world, our goal was to create a universe where all the players felt as though they could truly make a difference in the world based on their actions. We're extremely excited about the game and technology we developed along side it and hope that players will enjoy the experience we created for them."
We have updated our scheduled release date for Mourning on our game list.
FunCom announced today that they will be promoting Morten Byom as the new Game Director for Anarchy Online. They will also be bringing on Enno Rehline to the programming team. They have also announced that there will be a major graphics update for Anarchy Online in the months to come...bringing the world of Rubi-Ka to higher levels of beauty! Their press release is below:
Before and after shots of the ground textures and screens from a new Alien playfield: http://www.anarchy-online.com/content/downloads/media/screenshots
Near Death Studios, Inc., the developers of the independent multi-player online roleplaying game Meridian(tm) 59, is proud to announce the latest update on their client software and the recent release of Meridian 59: Evolution. This update includes a new hardware-accelerated 3D graphics engine featuring a high resolution display, texture filtering, dynamic colored lighting, and many new special effects. In addition, many interface changes have improved the game, including the addition of the mouse look to ensured a more responsive control, rebindable keys, and hot keys that are saved per-character.
Meridian 59 is a player vs. player (PvP) focused game, allowing players to fight between themselves. Flexible skill-based character advancement allows players to create individual characters to take into the balanced PvP combat situations in a nearly lag-free environment. This latest update enhances the gameplay and is free to all subscribers.
Near Death Studios is also excited to extend the opportunity to take advantage of a month of play time to explore and enjoy a trial version of Meridian 59: Evolution during the entire month of November. Players will enjoy increased advancement rates on the trial server, as well as the unique quests, events, and PvP contests found on the regular servers. After the trial players can subscribe to the full version of Meridian 59 for only $10.95 per month with no sign-up fees or box to buy.
Both new and returning Meridian 59 players enjoy a original high-fantasy setting with familiar and original monsters, spells, and equipment. The game's chat features allow players to converse within the tight knit in-game community of friendly, dedicated players and veteran game administrators.
As a special bonus, on Saturday, November 13th the developers of Meridian 59 will be on the trial server running special events for people who have signed up for the trial. The event will take place at 2 PM Pacific (5 PM Eastern and 11 PM GMT), afterwards the developers will be on hand to a talk with the players and answer questions about the past, present, and future of Meridian 59.
Take advantage of the free trial playtime offer by going to http://www.meridian59.com/M59-Trial-Signup.php.
Information about the new client, including a list of new features http://www.meridian59.com/M59-NewClient-01.shtml
More information about Meridian 59: Evolution can be found at http://www.meridian59.com/
Mutable Realms made the following statement today regarding the beta 2 program for Wish:
|Dear friends of Wish,|
While we could have started our Beta 2 test on December 1 as planned, we feel that Wish is not ready yet. There are still known bugs that need to be fixed, and we need more time to polish several aspects of the game. Wish could have a good Beta on December 1, but we want it to be a GREAT Beta. We have therefore decided to extend the closed Beta 1.5 phase by another month, delaying Beta 2. The new Beta 2 launch date is now January 1, 2005, instead of December 1, 2004. The Beta 2 test will last until the end of January.
There are no specific problems that can be singled out as the reason for the delay. The core architecture of Wish is sound and stable. It is simply the sheer number of small issues that still need modification or testing that calls for this unfortunate delay. None of these issues alone is a big problem, but getting them out of the way before open beta requires time. It remains our chief mandate to do what it takes to make a game that is both reliable and worthy of our fans.
Your Wish team
Wolfpack, a Ubisoft Company, is proud to announce that the open beta for Shadowbane: Throne of Oblivion is about to begin. In preparation for the launch of the expansion on December 7th, 2004, we need your help for the final testing of the new Vampire Race, the new Necromancer and Nightstalker classes, the realm system, stress testing, and more. Late this week they will be opening up the testing phase to the entire subscriber-base of Shadowbane. For more information, please visit the official Shadowbane Community site at http://chronicle.ubi.com/
"From Deep within the universe stands the dry cracked planet of "Omus Prime". From the city's of this lava covered lands comes a strong and proud race of warriors the "Triderians". The tridearian are known far and wide for there superior strength and melee combat skills. Even the strongest of men will crumble under the weight of there aggressive attacks."
Net Charger and MindSurge Entertainment are proud to present the newest player model to be added to our race selection. They are trying very hard to get all the new player models added to the game before our next phase of testing begins. If they can not make the start of the phase they will come shortly after they begin.