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Wizard101 : More Than One Million Registered Players

Posted Feb 13, 2009 by Keith Cross

KingsIsle Entertainment has announced that more than one million players have registered to play Wizard101, and they've rewarded the one millionth player with a year of free game time, and everyone else with 101 Crowns.

Plano, Texas -- February 13, 2009 -- Online entertainment company KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc. today announced that over one million unique users have registered to play the highly immersive 3D virtual world Wizard101 (, just five months after its launch in September 2008. "The response has been absolutely overwhelming," says Elie Akilian, founder and CEO of KingsIsle. "We knew the game would appeal to families but we were surprised to see how well the game resonates with the hardcore set. The mechanics are a cross between a traditional Collectible Card Game and an old-school turn based Role Playing Game, and that makes us incredibly unique."

The company is marking this milestone by rewarding the millionth registered player with a free one year subscription to the game, and a statue with an interactive commemorative plaque featuring the Wizard's name has been placed in the Wizard City Commons.

As a special "thank you" all current and future players will receive 101 free Crowns automatically in their account. Crowns are used to purchase game areas and unique items. Several new items that cost less than 101 Crowns have been added to Wizard101 including a limited time commemorative Storm Beetle pet.

Read more here.

Runes of Magic : Valentine's Day Event Review

Posted Feb 13, 2009 by Jon Wood's resident Runes of Magic expert Pamela Blalock writes this review of the Runes of Magic Valentine's Day event.

Cherubs, flowers and floating hearts aren’t a common theme in most MMOs. But once a year, many games hold Valentine’s Day events celebrating the sappy holiday. Of course, all these games do something a little different. Since Runes of Magic went online, the game has actually held multiple events. RoM celebrated Halloween, Christmas, the New Years and, recently, Valentines Day made the MMO event list.

Most of your time in the MMO world is probably spent killing mobs, dungeon running, completing quests and producing items. Events are usually a nice diversion from everyday tasks. Of course, these events typically offer something a player can normally obtain in the game. For RoM, the Valentine’s Day event offered the Flower God Blessing, chocolates that recover 30 percent of your health, a 7-day; 30-day; or permanent unicorn mount and different pieces of themed armor sets.

Read the Valentine's Day Event Review

World of Warcraft : Druid Talent Tree, Teir 1

Posted Feb 13, 2009 by Jon Wood World of Warcraft Correspondent James Wood provides us with tis Druid Talent Tree, Teir 1 for Blizzard's hit game.



Ranks: 3
Reduces the mana cost of your Moonfire, Starfire, Starfall, Wrath, Healing Touch, Rejuvenation and Regrowth by [3% x Talent Rank].

Moonglow is not a talent to skip for damage or healing, especially in the early game where most battles will leave you in need of a mana drink afterwards. There is the obvious effect of having more damage or healing spells cast for your full mana bar, but being able to conserve mana as a Druid in general means that you won have to rely on Innervate for longer periods of time, saving it for healers that are running low on mana.

Read Druid Talent Tree, Teir 1

Anarchy Online : Legacy of Xan Booster Video

Posted Feb 13, 2009 by Jon Wood

Legacy of Xan Booster VideoThe folks from Funcom have sent along this trailer for the upcoming booster, Legacy of Xan, for their sci-fi MMORPG, Anarchy Online.

Watch the Legacy of Xan Booster Video


World of Warcraft : Jeffrey Kaplan Leaves WoW for New MMO

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Keith Cross

Jeffrey Kaplan, lead designer for World of Warcraft has posted a message on the Wow forums informing players that he is no longer working on World of Warcaft, and has moved on to work on Blizzard's as of yet unannounced MMO project.

I wanted to take a moment to let the community know that I’ve switched roles here at Blizzard to work on our upcoming, unannounced MMO. World of Warcraft has been such a central part of my life these past six and a half years, and it’s success would not have been possible without the tremendous community around it, so I wanted to say thank you to all our players who’ve shared this amazing experience with us so far. Also, while I have served as the spokesperson and Game Director for World of Warcraft on Wrath of the Lich King, by no means would WoW be where it is today without the dedicated team that we have in place. The WoW development team is comprised of some of the most talented and experienced game developers in the world, and it was an absolute honor to serve amongst them, and they will continue to make WoW better than ever. I still plan to be very involved with the future course of World of Warcraft, but will leave the day to day operations of World of Warcraft to my partners in crime, Tom Chilton and J. Allen Brack.

When all is said and done, WoW is still my favorite game. I play it every day. None of that passion is gone. If anything, it fuels the challenge of making our next MMO even better. We know we have some big shoes to fill. So thank you to everyone who has been so supportive over the years, and likewise, thanks to those who have given us pointed feedback on all areas of the game. Without all of the feedback and participation, WoW would not be the game that it has grown to be. Azeroth truly belongs to you and we’re lucky to have shared in your journey. And as always, I’ll still be lurking on the forums and in the game.
Mostly, I just wanted to say thanks. It has been an absolute honor.

Jeffrey Kaplan

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Duel Spec Q&A

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Keith Cross

Blizzard has posted an internal Q&A with WoW Senior Game Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street where he discusses the new duel spec feature that will be coming in the game's next content patch.

Talent Dual Spec Q&A with Ghostcrawler
With the next content patch, we will be introducing a number of additions and changes to the game. One new feature in the works is the ability to set up two separate sets of talents, or "dual spec". While the complete feature may not be immediately available in the Public Test Realms (PTR) and specifics are still liable to change, we wanted to go over some questions with Senior Game Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street to find out more.

Nethaera: What is dual speccing?
Ghostcrawler: Dual speccing is the ability to save two separate talent specs, glyphs, and action bars.

Read more here.

Champions Online : Screenshot Update

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Keith Cross

To compliment today's overview of Cryptic Studios showing of Champions Online at NY Comic Con, and yesterday's set of new screenshots, we present nine old screenshots that hadn't yet made it into the Champions Online Gallery.


See more Champions Online Screenshots.

World of Warcraft : Basic Healing Guide

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Jon Wood WoW Correspondent Warren Hawker writes this introductory guide to healing as a Priest in Blizzard's hit game.

When you go into a group as a holy priest most people will want you to heal (unless they already have a healer). As the main healer in a group, you have the number one responsibility to keep everyone alive. Although you should keep this basic principle in mind, there are exceptions where you have to sacrifice a person in order to keep the group going and win a fight. In this guide I will try to explain the basics of healing with a priest, the spells to use when and suitable gear. Please bear in mind that this guide is designed for healing in PvE end-game raids, not levelling or PvP.

Read the Basic Healing Guide

Perfect World International : Localization of the Venomancer

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

In our continuing series of of developer journals discussing the ways in which the developers from Perfect World International are localizing the game for the North American market, we take a look at the Venomancer in a number of different incarnations.

The Venomancer is the pet class of Perfect World International. Being a part of the Untamed race, they have a strong kinship with the animals of Perfect World. Venomancers come in various forms, their most common form being that of a fox.

Read Localization of the Venomancer

EVE Online : Linux Support to End

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

We may be a couple of days late reporting it, but we wanted to pass on the fact that CCP has announced that they will not be continuing to support Linux users for their space-based MMO, EVE Online.

As some of you may know, I am the producer in charge of the project bringing EVE Online to the Mac and Linux operating systems. In order to achieve this aim, we are working in partnership with Transgaming Technologies, utilizing their Cider engine to allow EVE Online to run on the Mac OS and their Cedega engine to enable operation under Linux. This project went live in late 2007, and in that time we have seen the same slow, steady growth in the numbers of users of the Mac client that has characterized the growth of EVE Online throughout its history. However we have not seen any similar growth in the numbers using our Linux client.

It is for this reason that I am sorry to have to announce that from the 10th of March onwards CCP will no longer be officially supporting the Linux operating system. The low amount of users of the Linux client did not justify the degree of additional complexity that maintaining three operating systems imposed on our development and release schedules. There is the matter of maintaining the hardware infrastructure to facilitate the development work, spending man-hours on testing and diagnosing faults in the client as well as regression testing. While we did embark on this project with the aim of being one of the few MMOG’s on the market offering a game client for all of the major operating system architectures, we feel that the time and resources that were being spent on the Linux client would be better utilized in areas where more players would benefit from them.

I would like to thank those users who supported our efforts to bring EVE to the Linux OS. The feedback and commitment we obtained from many of you helped both CCP and Transgaming with our attempts to improve on the quality and stability of the client. I am sure this announcement will cause a rather emotional response, and all I can offer as a counter is that this was not an easy decision to make. Many of us in CCP use Linux and are convinced of its merits as an operating system. We did our best to identify all of our current subscribers who were using the Linux client and contacted each of them prior to this blog to make them aware of the change and to offer them some options on how to continue playing EVE through other emulators. We apologize if there were some who did not receive that notice and invite them to read this knowledgebase article.

Check out the original source

Tales Runner : Chapter 2: The Alchemist, Launched

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

GPotato has announced the launch of Chapter 2: The Alchemist for their game Tales Runner.

Sunnyvale, California- Feb. 11th, 2009 – The Tales runner team has successfully closed the door on Chapter 1 of its unfolding epic, Tales Runner, and proudly introduces Chapter 2 : The Alchemist.

With the release of their masterpiece “The Aladdin Maps”, the Tales Runner team is announcing the release of the long awaited Chapter 2, titled “The Alchemist”.
Chapter 2 will represent our largest addition of new game content and features to date. It will offer many challenging new maps, brand new characters, 2 pets, and hundreds of new items. We are also releasing our Alchemy System, which will change EVERYTHING!! Now you can create the most powerful items and gear in the game using Alchemy, and also upgrade that gear with materials earned at the end of each match.

We’ve also implemented daily GM Events, plus tournaments, sponsored exclusive in-game item giveaways, and more.

With so much content being added, it’s hard to put it down!

For up to date news and client downloads check it out at! It is available to play completely for free.


Lord of the Rings Online : Exploring Middle-Earth: Annunlos

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

Turbine has added another new Exploring Middle-Earth feature tot heir ewbsite. This time it's Annunlos that gets the love.

Annunlos is the name given to the far western part of the Lone-lands. Like most of the Lone-lands, Annunlos is a fairly barren territory, marked occasionally by small, broken ruins from the dead realm of Rhudaur.

Read Exploring Middle-earth: Annunlos

Champions Online : Comic Con Overview

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Jon Wood's Hasani Davis attended last week's New York Comic Con. While there, he had the opportunity to take a look at Cryptic's Champions Online. Today, he offers his observations.


Champions Online is an upcoming super-hero based mmo. Headed by Bill Roper, formerly of City of Heroes. The translation from the classic pen and paper we all grew up with shouldn’t suffer in his hands as he was a fan of the classic game himself. What first jumps out at you about this game are the rich colors and vivid details. I mentioned how impressed I was by the colors and was told that they wanted to have a very vivid storybook style to their game. The level of customization is high, allowing you to change many aspects of your character right down to the mood on their face. For instance, you can play as a demon-like winged villain, complete with perma-sadistic smile on your face.

Read Comic Con Overview

General : Poll Feature: How many subs?

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

Today we’d like to start what will become a new series of discussion features on, where we post a few thoughts on a particular MMO game related topic, and then ask the readers to weigh in with their opinions by responding in the forum thread or casting a vote in the related poll. Once the poll has been open for a reasonable amount of time we’ll then come back and revisit the topic, summarizing the results of the poll and community discussion.

Today’s Topic: How many subscribers does a subscription model MMO need to be considered successful?

With the recent announcement by Mythic Entertainment that Warhammer Online’s subscription numbers are currently hovering around 300 thousand, and the not-so-recent-anymore announcement that Tabula Rasa would shut down when this high profile MMO failed to live up to subscriber number expectations, a question arises. Just how many players does an MMO need to be successful in today’s market? To investors whose eyes fill up with dollar signs with a near audible cha-ching noise when they hear about subscriber numbers like those of World of Warcraft, games like WAR and Age of Conan seem like dismal failures when at this time last year the hype would have you believe that either one of these games would be a WoW killer.

Check out the poll here.

Zu Online : Daily Reward System with Next Update

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Keith Cross

The next update for Zu Online will add a new daily reward system to the game, and today IGG has provided us with a few details about that system.

With the release of version 1.9.02 for Zu Online (, the daily online awards system will be introduced, with players being able to win a lot of experience and in-game currency.

Awards System Details

Every day, when a player enters the game, a countdown will begin. When the countdown expires, they can claim some awards. When a player claims the rewards, a new countdown will begin, until all the daily online awards of the day have been claimed. When a player is online for 5 minutes, they will be able to claim some experience and Bones.

After claiming these rewards, a 10-minute countdown will begin. When the 10-minute countdown expires, they will be able to claim more experience and Bones. After claiming these rewards, a 15-minute countdown will begin. When the 15-minute countdown expires, they will be able to claim more experience and Bones.

After claiming these rewards, a 20-minute countdown will begin. When the 20-minute countdown expires, they will be able to claim more experience and Bones. After claiming these rewards, a 30-minute countdown will begin. When the 30-minute countdown expires; they will be able to claim more experience and Bones. After claiming all of these rewards, that’s it for the day!

Read more here.

Warhammer Online : Patch 1.2 Notes, Info and Commentary

Posted Feb 12, 2009 by Jon Wood

Mythic Entertainment has released a super-sized batch of patch notes for the upcoming 1.2 update. Managing Editor Jon Wood takes a look at some of the changes and offers some opinions.

Warhammer Online Screenshot

Last night, Mythic revealed their full patch notes for the upcoming 1.2 update to Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, and boy are they extensive

As usual, we’ll start by taking a look at their general announcement and then we’ll talk a little bit about some of the stuff going in. The announcement itself is a severely truncated version of the full 55 pages of patch notes. In this article, I’m going to take a look at some of what I consider to be the highlights of the patch and what they mean to the game. You shouldn’t consider it a full overview, but rather a taste of information and commentary.

So, if you’re one of those people who would just rather pur through notes upon notes than hear my opinion, here’s the link and enjoy

Read WAR Patch 1.2 Notes, Info and Commentary

Hello Kitty : New Screenshots

Posted Feb 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

Today we present three new images from Sanrio Digital's Hello Kitty Online.


See all of the Hello Kitty Online screenshots

Champions Online : New Screenshots

Posted Feb 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios has released some fresh screenshots to the gaming public, showing off some of the terrains and locations within the game.


See more Champions Online Screenshots.

Runescape : CEO Apologizes for Annoying Ads, More

Posted Feb 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard has posted a letter to the Runescape community where he talks about changes in how the company will communicate with players and apologizes for annoying video ads that played before the game started, and for propagating misconceptions about the game's free version and perceived kid focus.

Hi Everyone,

I'd like to introduce myself to you all. My name is Mark Gerhard and I am the new CEO of Jagex, the makers of RuneScape. I have been fortunate enough to have worked at Jagex for some time now and consider us to be first and foremost a games developer. We’re driven by teams that not only care passionately about games but also actively enjoy playing the games we create. We are going to be making a number of improvements to the game, I'm also keen to clear up a few misconceptions about RuneScape at the same time and I also believe there are a few things we have done wrong in the past that I want to apologise for.

To start off with, we want to be more open and listen to our players. Some of you may consider Jagex a secretive and closed-off company which isn't how we want to be perceived moving forward. Unlike most other companies, it just isn't our style to spend our time self marketing or shouting about how great we are, we prefer to just get on with it and make cool games, but that doesn't mean we don't listen to what you have to say.

Read more here.

EverQuest : Update Notes

Posted Feb 11, 2009 by Keith Cross

SOE has posted the update notes for most recent game update for EverQuest.

- Buffs that have a levitation effect are no longer stripped when you enter zones marked as no-levitate. When you enter a no-levitate zone, you will receive a message that the levitation effect has been disabled. Additional effects provided by the buffs (if any) will remain enabled. This means that levitation buffs that have other effects connected to them (i.e. Spirit of the Eagle's speed boost effect) can now be used in a no-levitate zone.

- The armor sets for Seeds of Destruction have been modified to improve the balance of stats for the individual pieces while adding more consistency within the sets. Some of the changes include an improved consistency between chaos" and "order" sets, the addition of Focus Effects to Tier 3 Raid breastplates, the addition of Slot 15 to Tier 3 and 4 for group and raid armor, and the improvement of the Heroic stats.

Read more here.

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