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Pirates of the Burning Sea : AvCom Revamp: Logistical challenges

Posted Oct 17, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Pirates of the Burning Sea have posted a dev journal detailing the complications of the AvCom revamp.

Aether wanted me to share with you a bit about how the AvCom Revamp looks to me, the Producer. It looks like a bunch of work, is how it looks!

MMOs change all the time. Known fact. Almost the definition of an MMO. We buff/nerf outfitting for balance; we add new ships; we even add new features. We’re set up to deal with the fact that we’ve got a live game that could need a hotfix at a moment’s notice and possibly the next batch of changes up on Testbed but even so we’re working on the next batch of changes beyond that. (It’s been a learning experience to get efficient at that but we just about have it down now.)

How do we deal with a major change that touches almost every aspect of the game and needs multiple milestones to complete? New features, we just don’t give you access to until they’re ready to go. Balance changes, we try to push in batches so we can see how one set does before making another set of changes. For the AvCom Revamp, though, our usual process is insufficient. We couldn’t begin the process without breaking the entire game and having it stay broken for some unknown number of months.

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Raksha Revamp

Posted Oct 17, 2008 by Keith Cross

This week's Feedback Friday column on the Tabula Rasa Community Site takes a look at Deployment 14 and the revamping of encounters at the Raksha Robotic Facility.

Listen up, soldiers! The Bane have blown a hole through the roof of the C.D.U. (Central Dispatch Unit) in Raksha Robotic Facility on Torden Incline. They've seized control of the C.D.U. system allowing them to start reprogramming the Wardenbots to fight on their behalf.

We can't let this happen, the Wardenbots are already enough of a pain on their own. We'll need to get some squads together to head down there and get control of the situation, ASAP.


Raksha Robotic Facility on Torden Incline features a new group encounter, a Wardenbot Control Point called the Central Dispatch Unit.

* Control Point is recommended for squads of players between level 25-32 and is repeatable.
* Players have the option of using a teleporter to take their squad directly to the Control Point, circumventing the rest of the instance to allow for immediate access to the encounter for larger squads.
* Control Point Bosses have the chance to drop new progressive weapons and armor sets.
Gaining control of the Central Dispatch Unit will allow players to dispatch Wardenbots and Turrets to defend it when defense systems are online.

Read more here.

Voyage Century Online : White Dragon Gear Overview

Posted Oct 17, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Voyage Century Online have provided us with a look at the game's White Dragon gear.

If you were to ask what the most popular gear in Voyage Century is, newbie players will probably say the newbie set. Players dedicated to business will probably say Financier clothes. Veteran players will probably say Dragon Scale set. However, after you start your adventures, you will find many people wearing White Dragon Sets.

As the white dragon set refining quests have been released, many players start trying to upgrade their gear and making a number of changes in sea battles.

You may ask why the White Dragon Set is so popular – see the answers below to find out why.

Advantage 1——Good looking

The design of the set comes from ancient China’s battle clothes, which usually were worn by the bravest warriors. The elaborate design makes it unique and fabulous. In that set, you will definitely grab everybody's attention as you pass them by.

Advantage 2——Good substitute for Top Gear

It’s always hard to obtain top gear in a game, so you can always find a close substitute for the top gear you are pursuing. So far, the White Dragon set is regarded as the best substitute for top gear. After your 4 basic skills reach level 99, you will be able to wear it. If the white dragon set has been refined, the 4 basic skills need to reach level 119 if you want to wear it. The refined White Dragon set is second only to the Dragon Scale set.

Advantage 3——Cheap

As many players know, the Dragon Scale set is very expensive, but the White dragon set is much cheaper. Players who don't have cash to burn can always afford it.

Advantage 4——Sea Battle

There are 5 kinds of gear named after Dragons, but only the White Dragon set is available for sea battles. After you complete the White Dragon set refining quest, the gunfire dodge rate and the hit rate can be increased by 40%. If you also have Neptune jewelry, you will be unequalled at sea!

Read more here.

EVE Online : Introducing the EVE Performance Group

Posted Oct 17, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at CCP have posted anew devblog which introduces players to the EVE Performance Group, and what they do behind the scenes to make EVE Online run smoothly.

If you've been reading recent dev blogs then you'll already know about EVE64 and StacklessIO. You may also already know about the current hardware upgrades in progress for TQ. What you may not know is that we've got a dedicated group of people whose entire purpose is all about making EVE run better, faster, and smarter. Working under the "Need for Speed" effort that's been ongoing since late 2006; we strive to improve the performance of the EVE cluster and clients as much as we can.

Where to begin?

A big part of what we do involves research and investigation. Quite often in order to find the best way to fix a problem you need to fully understand the problem and all the factors that contribute to it. This takes time, patience, and usually a lot of reading of code and specialized testing.

We started by using data from previous investigations and then building upon that with more monitoring, profiling, and debugging tools to help us identify points where we could get the greatest performance gain or where we could reduce load the most.

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Talking Head on the State of the Game

Posted Oct 17, 2008 by Jon Wood

You've seen the talking heads on CNN, BBC or Fox News, commenting on a speech or a debate. Today, with the release of the first Warhammer Online State of the Game from Mythic Entertainment's Mark Jacobs, Managing Editor Jon Wood gives his running commentary along with the letter.

After over three years of work and one of the smoothest launches in MMORPG history, WAR is moving quickly towards the end of its first month. This is a perfect time to take a look at where we were, where we are and where we are going. First, on behalf of everyone at Mythic, I would like to thank you for your interest in our game. While it is impossible for me to personally thank all 750K+ worldwide account holders, please know that we are grateful for your support to date and the support we hope you will show us in the future. It’s been a long road to get where we are today but it has been a worthwhile journey. While I might be tempted to say that the future’s so bright we have to wear shades, as you’ve seen from our podcasts, we’ll even wear those indoors.

Jon's Comments:

Mark says a couple of interesting things here as a lead-in to the first state of the game. What really grabbed my attention first and foremost was the 750K+ number. It’s important to note the language here as he says “750K+ worldwide account holders”. In the first month, this is really the only statistic that is really valid. There’s no real way to talk about current players until we see results past the included 30 days of free play. In any case, this is quite an accomplishment.

I was also impressed that the letter specifically thanked the players who have bought the game. While it seems like a no-brainer to thank the players, it’s more rare that one might first think.

Read the commentary.

Tales of Pirates : The Top TOP Guild

Posted Oct 17, 2008 by Keith Cross

IGG has prepared an overview of the the Guild War system in Tales of Pirates which allows guilds to fight for the prestige of being the top gang of scallywags in Tales of Pirates.

Tales of Pirates ( holds a cool Guilds Contest event offering all guilds the chance to show off their abilities every week! It is a competition among the strongest guilds, for the strongest guilds! Only the real powerful ones will have the chance at winning the competition!

Apart from the honor associated with such a prestigious event, the winning guild also obtains abundant rewards, such as the necessary items for making superior equipment—Death Equipment!

Today let’s take a glance at the TOP Guilds Contest:

1. Each guild leader can bid for eligibility to challenge the First Place guild in Guild Wars with Guild master Forlan before 9:00 pm EST (GMT-5) every Friday. A guild that wins eligibility can challenge the First Place Guild from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm EST (GMT-5) on Saturday.

2. A guild which stays in First Place on the ranking list for 5 weeks will obtain a Super Guild Award from the GM. TOP officials will present the guild leader with rewards. The guild leader has the right to distribute these rewards to the guild members.

3. If a challenging guild can defeat the previous champion, it will obtain the Rising Star Award and face challenges from other guilds.

4. Any subordinate guild is unable to bid for eligibility. Otherwise, both the main guild and the subordinate guild will be disqualified.

5. TOP will announce the winning guilds list on their official website, including the guilds’ name and the server it belongs to.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Arena Competition in Montreal

Posted Oct 17, 2008 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has posted a reminder that the Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge tour will be in Montreal this weekend where teams will take part in some Arena competition.

The Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge tour is taking place at the Montreal Olympic Stadium in Canada this weekend, October 17-19. Many of the world’s top Arena teams will be competing in this event and representing their respective countries for a piece of the $30,000 prize pool. During the competition, the Electronic Sports League will provide a non-stop free video stream, so everyone worldwide will be able to watch all of the matches live with English commentary.

Read more here.

Hello Kitty : Build New York Event

Posted Oct 17, 2008 by Keith Cross

Sanrio Digital has announced an event in the Hello Kitty Online beta where players are tasked with building New York, an area that they say will be in the next phase of the game.

Sanrio Digital is proud to announce Hello Kitty Online's largest in-game event yet: the building of New York City! Starting October 17, 2008, players of the Hello Kitty Online Founders' Beta will be able to participate in a series of quests to collect and organize materials for the building of New York, a new area that will appear in the next phase of the game.

Players who successfully complete all the required quests will have the names of their character permanently recorded on virtual commemorative plaques located throughout the new area (the plaques will appear in future versions of the game's North American edition). It’s a unique opportunity to leave your mark on Hello Kitty Online!

That is just one example of Hello Kitty Online's commitment to players who participate in the Founders’ Beta. Founders also enjoy permanent rewards and status, and will retain much of their characters' progress into the launch version of Hello Kitty Online.

Read more here.

EVE Online : CCP CEO Comments on Icelandic Economy

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP CEO Hilmar Pétursson has written a blog entry commenting on Iceland's economic troubles, the current banking crisis, and how CCP stands to weather the economic storm.

On a sunny day in June 1997, CCP was founded in Reykjavik, Iceland. A lot has happened since then and today CCP is a global enterprise with offices in Atlanta, Shanghai, London and Reykjavik, with a diversified employee base and partner relationships that span the globe many times over.

CCP is fortunate enough to be well isolated from the current banking crisis we see around us on both sides of the Atlantic (and here in the middle of it, of course). Not only do we enjoy the privilege of a global customer base bringing a diverse array of cultural influences into our single shard world of EVE Online, but that same diverse nature inoculates us from short-term fluctuations in sentiment or economic turbulence. We have also made an effort to work with various financial institutions around the world, giving us the agility needed to manage our global operations around the effects of the credit crunch.

For all of us at CCP who are used to going about our work in a completely border-agnostic fashion, it is a bit unusual to watch how politicians around us tackle the global credit crisis that the world is going through in a very local way, even using the situation to score some points for the next rounds of elections. This local approach for political gain needs to abandoned for a more global approach as the world is dealing with a fundamentally global problem. The institutions are in place... Well, enough about that.

Read more here.

Atlantica Online : First Look Preview

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Jon Wood Atlantica Online Correspondent Matt Plourde gives us this first look preview of the new strategy-based MMORPG from NDoors.

Strategy RPGs have always held a special place in my heart - Fantasy General on the PC and Shining Force on the SEGA Genesis being the first two games to really capture my attention in this genre. Traditionally a single player affair, these games have carved a niche market for themselves through the years. There have been a few attempts recently to bring the StratRPG to the MMO market, but these games have fallen short (in some significant ways) of their single-player ancestors.

Until now.

If you are a StratRPG fan, Atlantica Online could be the best tactical online game you've never heard of. Available in the U.S. via NDoors Interactive, Atlantica Online is a free-to-play online game currently in open beta. They hope to get your money through microtransactions at NDoors' website (this feature is yet to be implemented).

Read the Atlantica Online First Look Preview.

EverQuest II : Nights of the Dead

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at EverQuest II have posted details of Nights of the Dead, their Halloween themed event.

The Nights of the Dead celebration (barring acts of Innorruk) will run from Wednesday, October 22, 2008 until Monday, November 3, 2008!

Ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night!! It's that time of year again and the Nights of the Dead celebration will soon be upon us.

As in previous years, there will be trick or treating and the haunted mansion in Qeynos and Freeport. There will also be decorations all around Norrath and Ponchy will be offering up his quest in Antonica.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Quantum Rise Launches

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced the launch of Quantum Rise, the latest major content update for EVE Online, which re-balances and introduces new industrial ships, corporation customization options, reduced lag, and more.

Reykjavik, Iceland, October 15, 2008 - CCP, one of the world's leading independent game developers, today announced the launch of the ninth free expansion for EVE Online, its popular science fiction massively multi-player online game (MMOG). EVE Online: Quantum Rise offers limitless opportunity to the talented starship pilots of New Eden as the roots of conflict spread deep for their lifeblood.

Players have great things to look forward to in EVE Online: Quantum Rise. Corporations will be able to set their products apart from the rest by building trust in their goods through customizable storefronts. The backbone of EVE's vibrant economy, industrial ships are being rebalanced and optimized to better suit the needs of haulers and industrialists, including the latest edition to the fleet, a massive capital industrial ship dubbed the Orca. A new certificate system will give a quick and verifiable means to discern a pilot’s skill level in trading, gunnery or countless other professions, providing plenty of bragging rights. Meanwhile, the introduction of a medal system allows corporations to distinguish their most valued pilots and honor them for their achievements.

The staged delivery of EVE Online: Quantum Rise began with the recent implementation of technological breakthroughs such as StacklessIO and EVE64 which upgraded the server hardware and streamlined communication between server and client to severely reduce lag. The reality of thousands of ships simultaneously engaged in adrenaline-charged combat is at hand and several fleet battles have already been fought using this new technology. Emboldened by the significant effects these improvements bring to high-level gameplay, CCP will push forward with a myriad of hardware and server improvements to bring the most massive player vs player experience available, expanding a boundless universe into a limitless one.

"We are very proud to be delivering this expansion, both in terms of features and the sheer performance increases made possible by deep refactoring of selected portions of our network and server code, complimented with the finest hardware we could find," says Torfi Frans Ólafsson, Senior Producer of EVE Online. "I can't imagine a better game where you can engage hundreds of people simultaneously in highly immersive tactical combat or simply sit back and make millions off of the conflict via research, manufacturing or logistics. You choose your destiny; that's the beauty of it."

Read more here.

City of Heroes : Issue 13: Shield Screens

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

Today we continue our look at Issue 13: Power and Responsibility for City of heroes and Villains with a look at eleven screenshots of the new shields that will be introduced in the content update.

Take a look at the City of Heroes Issue 13: Shield Screens.

Lord of the Rings Online : Minstrel and Rune-Keeper, Levels 50 Plus

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Turbine have prepared a series of Dev Journals which take a class by class look at level advancement past level 50 in the Lord of the Rings Online's Mines of Moria expansion. Today we take a look at the Minstrel and the Rune-Keeper.

The Warrior-Skald

The Minstrel is a battling warrior-poet who wanders Middle-earth, ever on the lookout for companions in need of a quick boost to their morale. The Warrior-Skald line answers the question of what the Minstrel does while they walk the lonely roads of the far reaches of Middle-earth, using both song and ballad to remove the taint from the land.

Traits in the Set:

The traits for this line focus on the old standbys of the warrior minstrel, whose proclivity for wearing medium armor is well known, but who will also have access to Tempo of Bravery and Enduring Morale to keep the Minstrel very healthy during one-on-one engagements.

Trait Set Bonuses:

The bonuses of the Warrior-Skald line are heavily focused on the War-speech stance, enhancing his abilities to deal raw damage at the expense of outbound healing. The master of the Warrior-Skald line understands when it’s time to raise and lower War-speech.

Capstone Skill: Call to Fate

This skill enables the Minstrel to deal high critical damage while in the War-speech stance. This is another tool in the toolbox of the Minstrel’s solo DPS set.

Legendary Capstone Trait: Call to War

This skill enables Minstrels to not only raise the power of the Call to War and take advantage of criticals, but it also raises many of the critical attributes of their War-speech focused skills, allowing the Minstrel to use their powerful light based songs to bring down their opponents.

Follow the links to read about Minstrel Advancement Beyond Level 50,

and Rune-keeper Advancement Beyond Level 50.

Myth War 2 : Growth Paradise Now Available

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Myth War II have announced that Growth Paradise is open to players, where they have the chance to find some interesting rewards.

Myth War II is very glad to announce that Growth Paradise is available to all players after10 days test since Oct 1st. This would be especially good news for rookies because incredibly good prizes are always available for gamers to claim whenever they level up.

New gamers only need to register and activate their accounts to be qualified for special rewards which

include unconventional gift packs when their characters progress through the game.

How to Reclaim Gift Packs

Create a new character → Claim Level 10 gift packs in Growth Paradise after your new character reaches Level 10→Go to Growth Paradise to claim Level 20 gift packs→ and so forth.

Read more here.

Florensia : Officially Launched

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Floresia have announce the official launch of their free-to-play MMO title.

Burda:ic, a publisher of online games worldwide, today announced the official launch of its free-to-play, fantasy MMORPG Florensia. Following an overwhelming 250,000 registered players in the open beta, Burda:ic has also doubled server capacity in the last week. This means that there’s plenty of room for potential adventurers from every corner of the globe - so sign up today and experience the thrilling maritime world of Florensia!

“We are convinced that Florensia provides fans with a terrific gaming experience”, said Ingo Griebl, managing director at Burda:ic. “We’re already excited about the prospect of doubling the server capacity again in the future.”

“Although we offer Florensia free-to-play, the customer support provided by our team will be the same level of support you’d see for a typical pay-to-play MMO,” said Achim Kaspers, managing director at Burda:ic. “We are dedicated to keeping our players happy by listening to their concerns and providing a wealth of content with regular expansions”

In anticipation of today’s launch, Burda:ic also added the highly anticipated Sealed Item System to Florensia last week. All equipment pieces found now have a number of seals that can be ‘released’ by specific NPCs. Impress friends and enemies by becoming one of the first adventurers to sport items with the powerful unsealed effects!

Read more here.

Runescape : PvP Worlds Up and Running

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at RuneScape have announced the arrival of PvP worlds to their game.

PvP worlds have arrived! Are you ready to pit your combat skills against other players in the halls of the White Knights’ Castle? Are you prepared to fight to the death in the fields of Lumbridge? Well, now is your chance.

To get started, load up the game like normal (click here to read about the changes to the log-in system we've also released today), and then choose 'World Select' on the title screen. Then pick a world which has a tick in the 'skull' column to choose a PvP world. To avoid nasty accidents, if you let the game choose a world for you automatically it will never select a PvP world. Also note that you require a Combat level of at least 20 (not including Summoning) to get into a PvP world.

Before you are logged in, you will be warned that you are entering a PvP world which is a dangerous place: you will lose your items on death and you will not get a gravestone. Upon entering the world for the first time, you’ll be teleported to Lumbridge and given a manual to explain the finer points of PvP worlds.

Here’s a quick run-down of the features:

* Fight players (within your level range) anywhere on the map, except in a few safe areas.
* Safe areas include banks, respawn points and some guilds.
* Level ranges are 10% of your Combat level, plus 5 levels. If you are fighting inside the Wilderness, the Wilderness level is added to this total. Your current attack range is shown on your screen at all times. (The 10% is measured from the higher of the two combatants’ levels.)
* Skulling is back – same rules apply. If you initiate combat, you are skulled and on death you will lose all items, with the Protect Item prayer saving one item as normal.
* Teleport Block is back in the normal spellbook.
* Some minigames are available to play, others are not – please see the Game Guide for more details.
* Death drops are back – new rules apply. Drops will be a mixture of items from the defeated opponent’s inventory and items from drop tables specific to PvP worlds. See below for details.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Echos of Doom is Live

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has announced that Echos of Doom, the latest major content update for World of Warcraft is now live, bringing a new Achievements System, new Talents, a new profession, and more.

You've mastered the challenges of Outland, but are you ready for what's yet to come? From the frozen north come tidings of a dormant evil awakening, filling the hearts and minds of Azeroth's citizens with unease. Heroes across the land are preparing for the harsh journey ahead with a sense of anticipation and purpose.

Echoes of Doom, the last major content patch for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, lays the groundwork for the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King expansion. It adds a wealth of improvements and entirely new gameplay features to World of Warcraft

Read more here.

Wizard101 : Halloween Events

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Keith Cross

KingsIsle Entertainment has announced several new Halloween activities in their family oriented MMO, Wizzard101.

Plano, Texas -- Oct 15, 2008 -- Online entertainment company KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc. has waved a magic wand over the family-friendly virtual world Wizard101 ( and conjured new limited time content, including three Haunted Towers and eleven frightfully fantastic adventures.

For those brave enough to seek out a wily scarecrow named Jack Hollow in Wizard101's Wizard City Commons, several spooky challenges await, including:

* Test your courage against the ghostly inhabitants of three brand new towers
* Rescue Wizard City from a ghastly spell by defeating the Baron Mordecai
* Search out Jack O'lanterns throughout Wizard City
* Catch colorful ghosts haunting the wizard school campus
* Dunk for apples to collect prizes
* Visit Spooky Bob in the Wizard City Shopping District for limited edition items such as costumes, wands, hats and accessories, including a special pet!

Several of the seasonal Hallowe'en quests can be found in the Free-to-Play areas of Wizard101 and a few additional ones require a monthly subscription to the game. Spooky Bob and the Haunted Towers will mysteriously vanish shortly after October 31st.

Read more here.

Priston Tale II : First Official Trailer

Posted Oct 16, 2008 by Jon Wood

First Official Trailer Wicked Interactive has released the first official trailer for its upcoming MMORPG, Priston Tale 2: The Second Enigma. The trailer depicts the action and epic feel of the sequel to the popular Priston Tale.

Watch the interview here


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