Scott Hartsman, the Senior Producer of EverQuest II, answers Carolyn Koh's questions as we pick things back up with another interview.
Scott Hartsman: This was actually one of the big goals of the character changes: Greater distinction in the game’s various races. People who haven’t started a new character since might not even know about it.
Each village now has a quest line that describes your race, a little bit about its history, and how the race sees itself in the new world of Norrath. For instance, if you’re a Barbarian from Freeport, you’d need to prove you can be intimidating by defeating someone else in a screaming match. If you’re a Wood Elf from Qeynos, you’re taught to be respectful of nature and pay homage to a fallen Elven hero.
Completing these racial quests provides the player with a new, powerful item unique to his/her race.
You can read the interview here.
Runestone has announced that they will be giving a special offer for their new MMORPG, SEED that will allow players to pay for their first month, and get the second month free:
Aarhus, Denmark – April 24, 2006 – Runestone Game Development announced today a special offer, buy two-months, pay for only one for Seed, its upcoming genre-shattering massively multiplayer game, launching in May 2nd.
"The intro-offer is a big thank you to our loyal community and beta testers. At the same time we hope newcomers will seize the opportunity and experience the Seed world for themselves," said Lars Kroll Kristensen, CEO of Runestone Game Development.
Seed will be available for download at www.seedthegame.com with a 14-day free trial. The monthly subscription rate will be €13.00 or $15.00. The introduction offer is available in May only and will cover the first two months.
“From the commercial release on May 2nd, we will add features and gameplay elements to the core game already there,” continued Kristensen. “Exactly how this will proceed, will depend a lot on our community and the choices they make.”
“The release of Seed marks the culmination of the two and a half years of development and beta testing,” added Kristensen. “We’re thrilled to see our work come to full life.”
For more on SEED, click here.
The Saga of Ryzom has updated the "Now in Test" section of their official website, covering landmarks, outposts, combat and more:
We have updated the "Now in Test" section of the site, with miscellaneous points and bugfixes we're currently working on and testing. The items displayed there could be quickly added to a patch and so disappear from this page, remain here for an undetermined time or even removed, depending if the modification works well or not. I'll inform you through a news when something is added to this list.
I think what's in there should interest you. :)
Read it all, here.
WEBZEN has announced the games thatw ill be appearing at this year's E3 in LA. The games that will be showcased are: Huzley, SUN and Wiki:
LOS ANGELES – April 26, 2006 – Global online entertainment company WEBZEN Inc. (NASDAQ: WZEN) announced today its lineup of PC and next generation massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) for showcase at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles from May 10-12, 2006.
WEBZEN will focus this year’s exhibition on a diverse showing of MMOGs that include the epic fantasy MMO role-playing game (MMORPG) Soul of the Ultimate Nation (SUN), MMO first person shooter Huxley, and the mass-appeal casual MMORPG Project Wiki. All titles leverage WEBZEN’s world class online game design and client/server technologies, pushing the boundaries of today’s MMOG offerings. Visitors to WEBZEN’s booth – #1300 in the South Hall – will have the opportunity to play hands-on versions of all three titles.
Soul of the Ultimate Nation is the much anticipated MMORPG that delivers more fun and more friends in less time. Players can form a party from thousands of gamers using Soul of the Ultimate Nation’s Battle Zone System and embark on a graphically stunning and ever-expanding online fantasy world that is ready for action when the players are. With unique battle systems and a captivating cast of characters, Soul of the Ultimate Nation is an epic tale in a world of emperors, armies, magicians and monsters. Soul of the Ultimate Nation will be available for PC.
Huxley is a massively multiplayer online first person shooting game (MMOFPS) utilizing the UNREAL3 engine to create an unparalleled twitch action gaming experience with up to 5,000 players in the same world. Huxley takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where human beings have mutated and are divided into two opposing races, Sapiens and Alternative. At the center of the battle for survival is Lunarites, a promising new energy source highly coveted by both races. Forced to battle against one another for the continuance of each race, Sapiens and Alternatives will do whatever it takes to wipe out the opposition and gain control of the world and its resources. Huxley will be available for PC and the Xbox 360.
Project Wiki is a casual, fairy tale based MMORPG with intense levels of cooperative interaction. The relationships and actions of each individual player directly influence the entire Project Wiki world and all of its elements. Project Wiki incorporates an adaptive system enabling the decisions players make in quests and missions to contribute to the individual personalities of characters, including what they wear and their facial expressions. Project Wiki will deliver a lively, creative and interactive online game play experience in a whimsical and charming environment for PC.
For more info on WEBZEN, click here.
In the first part of a multi-part series on the classes of The Chronicles of Spellborn, the game's developers share with us the secrets of warrior classes. This detailed journal includes examples of moves the characters can use.
| In this new three part series we take a look at the different player classes in The Chronicles of Spellborn (TCoS). In this installment we look at the three warrior classes; the Blood Warrior, the Champion and the Furyhammer. The warriors of TCoS must be much more then damage absorbing tanks. Keeping overall control in battle and protecting friends is part of the warrior's every day job.
Every class in TCoS has 3 basic attributes. The character’s primary attribute is defined by the class archetype, and the secondary attribute is determined by the 3 classes within each archetype. The third attribute has a small impact on the player's statistics and has no impact on any class specific statistics and skills. The primary attribute for the warrior archetype is 'Body'. The body attribute impacts many of the class’s basic statistics and allows the warrior to use basic body-related skills.
The full journal is available here.
The makers of Dark and Light have announced that they will be delaying the general release of their game until the 30th of May. The reason given is that they are "not satisfied enough with the balancing and debugging, and do not wish to release Dark and Light just yet." Pioneers will have access to the game on the 28th of May.
The release of Dark and Light is delayed to May 30th, 2006, and Pioneers will have access starting on May 28th, 2006, 1pm UTC.
As the developers are currently working on the final testing and balancing tasks in the Dark and Light private beta, they must regretfully choose to postpone the release of Dark and Light. César Jacquet, manager of NPCube, explains: “As the release date gets closer, we are not satisfied enough with the balancing and debugging, and do not wish to release Dark and Light just yet. After many ups and downs (the chikungunya epidemic on Reunion island http://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_02_17a/en, as well as logistic issues), the development team wishes to release Dark and Light in the best conditions and to make up for the delay, in order to reward Pioneers who put their trust in us and expect a lot from Dark and Light. This is why Farlan agrees with the recommendations of NPCube and pushes the release date back.
Dark and Light will be available for download to Pioneers on May 26th, 2006, at 1pm UTC. The official release date for Dark and Light is May 30th, 2006.
For more on Dark and Light, click here.
The team at The Chronciles of Spellborn have let us know that their release date has been pushed back to Quarter Four 2006.
|The Chronicles of Spellborn release date set for early Q4 2006
Spellborn NV is nearing completion of the highly anticipated MMORPG The Chronicles of Spellborn (TCoS) that promises to be ground breaking for the genre. Players take the role of heroes in a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting where a vast adventure unfolds in an authentic living world created using the renowned Unreal® Engine™ 2.5.
For more information on The Chronicles of Spellborn, check their official website.
Horizons has released this week's patch notes. These patches were applied to the server named "Blight" on Monday, April 24th.
The following additions, changes and fixes were applied to Blight on Monday, April 24, 2006:
For more on Horizons, click here.
Final Fantasy XI is gearing up for another event, the Feast of Swords. You can learn all you needed to know about this feast by clicking the link below:
Vana'diel is preparing once again for the Feast of Swords! The moogles are busily buzzing around as this Far Eastern celebration of boys' healthy growth draws nearer, but all the excitement seems to be due to yet another harrowing setback...
And so, the moogles are once again asking for help from the "courageous, illustrious, and awe-inspiring adventurers of Vana'diel" (in their own pleading words). Will you answer their call?
There's a new Dev Chest out over at EverQuest II. The Dev Chest gives the developers a chance to point out the different posts that have been made by EQII staff on the boards.
Sometimes it's hard to find the buried treasures contained within the EverQuest II forums. The Dev Chest highlights useful, insightful, or entertaining posts from the developers that you may want to check out. Get your treasure maps and shovels ready--we're about to discover a Dev Chest!
For more EQII, click here.
Star Wars Galaxies has released a new Rogue 5 Comlink. The Comlink comes from the game's producer and includes such topics as "Publish 28", "Community Summits", an "Updated Publish Outline" and more:
Hello everyone! I'm back!
Publish 28 I have been out visiting many of you for the past few weeks at the SWG Community Summits. (Special thanks to Helios for providing a comlink for me the past two Fridays.) While I've been out, the development team has been hard at work on Publish 28, which can currently be found on our Test Center server. We are really happy with how things are going and I expect that we'll be able to release the publish to the live galaxies on Tuesday, April 25th.
Community Summits As I mentioned, I have been traveling the past few weeks attending some of the community summits. It was really great to have the opportunity to meet many of you face to face. All of the developers that attended really enjoyed getting a chance to listen to your feedback in person, answer your questions, and spend some time talking about Star Wars Galaxies. Things went so well that we are already talking about setting up some more community events so that we can have a chance to meet even more of you, answer more of your questions, and continue to share even more information about this year's plans for SWG.
Updated Publish Outline While I was at the summits, we shared the latest version of our publish plan for the year. Canceling the expansion and keeping the whole team together and focused on the live game has opened up the schedule so we've been able to add some additional features to the initial plan I posted a few months ago. Many of you have seen the original plan, but not everyone has seen the latest plan for the year, so I wanted to share the latest version here:
Read it all, here.
Codemasters Online Gaming, the company responsible for the European Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, have aannounced that they will be showing the new MMORPG at the upcoming European Dungeons and Dragons Miniature Championships.
To support the brand new Module 1 update Codemasters Online Gaming will be showcasing Dungeons & Dragons Online at the forthcoming GAME ’06 (European Dungeons & Dragons Miniature Championships) to be held in Birmingham, UK.
GAME '06 will take place at the Thistle Birmingham City Hotel, Birmingham (UK), April 29th-30th, 2006. Events include one Trans-Atlantic, three European and two United Kingdom D&D Championships. There will also be demonstrations of miniatures games, board games, etc along with a seminar hosted by industry celebrity Brian Mackey, husband of "Rikka", giving an insight into D&D miniatures production from behind the scenes.
Along with the hosting of the European D&D Championships, Codemasters Online Gaming will be in attendance demonstrating Dungeons & Dragons Online across a 5 PC LAN set up to demonstrate the game.
For more information on the event please visit http://www.consupport.com
For more on DDO Europe, .
ArenaNet has announced that its new Guild Wars Factions has started shipping to worldwide stores. The game itself is set to launch tomorrow, April 28th, 2006.
April 26, 2006 (BELLEVUE, WA) – ArenaNet®, developer of the award-winning online roleplaying game Guild Wars®, and NCsoft® Corporation, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, announce today that one of the year’s most-anticipated PC titles, Guild Wars Factions™, has officially shipped. For fans of the game that revolutionized online roleplaying, the wait is nearly over as Guild Wars Factions goes out today to retail stores worldwide.
Guild Wars Factions is the stand-alone follow-up to Guild Wars, the game that set new standards in online gaming with fresh design, innovative technology and no-subscription-fee pricing. With an expected retail price of $49.99, Guild Wars Factions will be available worldwide and servers supporting the new release will “go live” at 12:01 AM PDT /7:01 GMT on April 28, 2006.
Those who pre-ordered the game will be able to participate in the exclusive Guild Wars Factions Head Start Event beginning at 12:01 AM PDT/7:01 AM GMT on April 27, 2006. These lucky gamers will have access to the game for a total of 48 hours, including a full 24 hours before the game’s global release. During the first 24 hours of the Head Start Event, ArenaNet has planned an exclusive in-game event titled "Day of the Tengu," in which players will join one-day-only "Day of the Tengu" quests, and earn exclusive in-game rewards.
“New features in Guild Wars Factions such as guild scrimmages, alliance battles, ranked character titles, and some surprises still to come all resulted from our drive to create a truly unique gaming experience for existing and new fans of the Guild Wars universe,” says Mike O’Brien, co-founder of ArenaNet. “With a full year of development and a passionate design team, we think what we’ve created delivers on that and much, much more. Either played as a stand-alone game, or linked with your original Guild Wars account, Guild Wars Factions is a game we are thoroughly proud of—and still carries no subscription fee.”
Guild Wars Factions takes place on the Asian-inspired continent of Cantha, where players create a character from eight distinct professions—including the newly created Assassin and Ritualist—and join an epic quest that pits two warring factions, the Luxons and the Kurzicks, against an ancient evil, and against each other. As players become embroiled in this brutal war of conquest, new missions will provide both roleplaying fans and competitive PvP players the opportunity to help determine the fate of Cantha.
For more on Factions, click here.
Entropia Universe has announced that it has commissioned a number of artists and designers to sell their real world art in the virtual galleries offered by the virtual universe and its real-cash economy.
(Gothenburg, SWEDEN) – Entropia Universe, the fastest growing virtual universe utilizing a real cash economy, today announces its latest city on the planet of Calypso, New Oxford, opening on April 28th, 2006. The city will be a center for all arts, including fashion, music and more, featuring an art academy, fashion & design institute, multiple art galleries, a music school and museums. The new city will open windows of opportunity for artists and designers looking for new ways to promote and sell various “real-world” artwork, and also allows professors to give live video lessons within the “virtual” art academies and schools. There are a few big names already taking advantage of the virtual universe as a new means to reach a larger audience, including, Professor Ernst Billgren of the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm, famous and controversial artist Mark Kostabi, young and upcoming artist Kika Karadi, and Mark DeMuro.
New Oxford offers artists and designers from all over the world the ultimate virtual connection to a massive audience. However, the city not only creates new marketing mediums for artists, but also allows members to purchase virtual designer clothes, artwork, music and more for avatars, as well as for “real-world” delivery on Earth. In its debut, New Oxford will offer three galleries including the “21st Century Fine Art”, a subsidiary to the well-known New York gallery, “Ressle Fine Art.” The city will also include the latest fashion and trends from designers like Adam Thorpe and Joe Hunter of Vexed Generation in London, an underground clothing company whose innovative designs focus on urban living using intelligent material.
"New Oxford, with it's academies, galleries and shops, truly elevate the already unique online world of Entropia Universe,” says Carl Uggla, Director of Marketing and Special Projects for Entropia Universe. “Now, for the first time, individuals can appreciate great artwork and fashion, learn to be an artist or designer through virtual classes, enter contests/win prizes, meet real-world artists, critics and more, in a virtual community. We are even looking into negotiating with legendary musicians, bands and record and film companies to encompass a wide range of entertainment in New Oxford.”
The design of New Oxford was done in collaboration with Billgren whose credentials also include painter, sculptor, writer, filmmaker and musician. The city is the latest element of Entropia Universe’s massive online community that encapsulates real people and real events to form an online society resembling that of the real world. Entropia Universe will utilize the creation of its “culture city” and other “real-world” features to come to move the community beyond the more traditional online entertainment and gaming.
Entropia Universe is the only virtual gaming community that actively supports sales of virtual products with actual cash value within its real economy system. The economy offers the user a secure and safe way to make purchases, sales and exchange real life currency into PED (Project Entropia Dollars) and back again into real money, at a fixed exchange rate to the US Dollar. PED allows members to invest in personal development and growth through the acquisition of goods, buildings, and land in the virtual universe. In 2005, the Entropia Universe turnover was an estimated $165,000,000 US Dollar.
The heart of Entropia Universe lies in a distant planet named Calypso, encompassing two continents with large expanding cities that offer a variety of entertainment and social interaction for its citizens. Members of Entropia can create their own persona (avatar) via a character generation system, then having the option of choosing a suitable life and virtual existence for their avatar. Characters are able to enter the evolving world full of unexplored and uncultivated lands where they can join a community or even create a civilization of their own. Entropia Universe offers a new way for individuals to pursue dreams and fantasies through an adventurous virtual experience.
In December of 2004, Entropia Universe set a world record, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, when it sold a virtual Treasure Island for $26,500 USD as the largest virtual dollar amount spent, to 22-year old Australian David Storey, a.k.a. "Deathifier". The recent sale of the Space Resort for $100,000 USD to famed gamer, Jon ‘Neverdie’ Jacobs, sets a new record for the most valuable virtual item.
Carpe Diem is an upcoming fantasy MMORPG from Persistent Worlds. CEO Ken Johnston took the time to introduce the basic elements of his game to us in this interview. You can read about mounted combat, PvP and their concept of a GM controlled enemy. We also have five exclusive screenshots.
| MMORPG.com: Offering a game with mounted combat certainly is a step forward for MMOs. Can you tell us how players will enjoy fighting from horseback?
Ken Johnston: Mounted combat is what makes Carpe Diem so exciting to play. I really wanted a game that bought something new in game play terms to the MMO genre. The first thing you should know about mounts in Carpe Diem is that they are not just for getting from one place to another. Each mount has its own skills and statistics. The more you fight on your mount the more experience it will gain. If you grow your riding skills to a high enough level you can teach your mount to make attacks for you, eg a Knights horse can be trained to trample his enemies. You can also buy armor for your mount to increase its defense. However, they need to be looked after and fed and watered regularly. The idea is like having a real horse of your own. But not just horses, there are also armored bears and great bull like beasts in the game. Each different race has its own mount.
Players get different skills for use on horse back or on foot. So you can choose which style of combat the situation calls for and use your skills accordingly. Fighting from horseback allows you to move much more rapidly and make lightning charges and then withdraw. One of my favorite thrills in the game is to make a cavalry charge with four or five friends. It is quite devastating.
You can read the full journal here.
Tracy Spaight, the designer of Africa and VP of R&D at Rapid Reality, brings us an Africa developer journal on an element of the game called The Dreamscape. The Dreamscape is an alternate reality that players can explore within themselves.
| How do you know, beyond any doubt, that you’re not dreaming right now? Philosophers and poets have pondered this question for millennia. To the dreamer, the dream realm can seem as real as the waking world. In Africa’s “dreamscape,” the boundary between the waking world and the dream realm is a hazy one: players will be able to step into their own dreams and adventure in the primeval forest of their unconscious mind.
The dreamscape is a randomized, instanced space that players can explore when their characters sleep – which they must do periodically. In the dreamscape players can receive visions, undertake quests, learn new skills, and hone their spiritual powers. They may find hidden sources of strength that will make them better hunters, warriors, and shamans in the waking world.
You can read the journal here.
Dark Age of Camelot has released the Hox Fixes for Monday. They are few, but they are mighty.
These are now up on live:
Guild Wars has announced that if you own Prophecies and you have activated a pre-order of Factions, you'll be able to use your new character slots during the Factions Head Start Event.
We're happy to let you know that if you own Prophecies and have activated a Factions Pre-order on your account, you will be able to access your two new character slots during the Factions Head Start Event. The slots will become available and will have access to Cantha from 12:01 a.m. PDT (7:01 GMT) on Thursday, April 27th through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 28th (6:59 GMT on April 29th). After the close of the Head Start Event, Canthan characters and Factions content will not be accessible until a retail key is activated on the account. The character slots will enjoy a "grace period" of ten days, to allow you to enter your retail access key and make them permanent
For more information on Guild Wars, click here.
Webzen has announced a 2 week delay before the open beta of their MMORPG, Soul of the Ultimate Nation, or SUN. The beta, which was supposed to being on May 2nd, will now begin on May 15th.
Soul of the Ultimate Nation, Reborn on May 15
Addition of a spacious field and Mission Competing System, 2 weeks delay in OB schedule
(2006-04-21) ‘Soul of the Ultimate Nation (SUN)’, the most anticipated game for 2006, will be reborn as a next generation game with the introduction of a powerful Mission Competing System.
Webzen Inc. (CEO Nam Ju Kim, www.webzen.com) announced that the open beta test which was originally planned to commence on May 2, will be pushed back 2 weeks to May 15, with the full-scale introduction of the Mission Competing System.
Accordingly, the 2nd pre-open beta testing date will be adjusted to commence on May 8 to May 12.
Webzen CEO Nam Ju Kim stated, “After the success of MU, as a leading company in this industry, we want to continue to lead the next generation games through SUN. Even taking into consideration all the risks associated with the service delay, we believe that through these new contents, we will be able to satisfy all the SUN users with high anticipation
In the SUN open beta test, not only a spacious field map will be added, but also a new concept of a detailed quest system will be introduced. Also, newly integrating the mission and competition elements as the main composition, the game will provide a ‘survival mode’, which the users will have to compete which other in order to survive, and the ‘time attack’ mode, where the users will hunt as many monsters as possible during a limited time. The users will also be able to enjoy the vivid PvP element, and the ‘ranking system’ which will be provided regularly within the game.
The AC (Area Conquest) System, where the user can receive various benefits depending on the amount of contribution by the user in its corresponding area, is another factor the users will enjoy during the open beta.
Webzen is in the process of testing the open beta version of SUN, and is preparing the marketing promotion strategy for the grand open on May 15.
For more on SUN, click here.
We continue our peeks behind the patron powers with our Ghost Widow Q&A. This is the second in a five part series with Matt Miller, the Lead Designer of City of Heroes/Villains. Today we focus on the specific powers granted by Ghost Widow. In addition to the interview, we also have four images of her powers in action.
| MMORPG.com: First of all, what can you tell our readers about Ghost Widow as a character?
Matt Miller: She’s as mysterious as she is beautiful, and as deadly as she is cunning. She appears to be an actual spirit from beyond the grave as opposed to a Super with incorporeal powers. The rumors are that she was one of the Night Widows when she was slain, and that her thirst for vengeance must have been so great that she elected to serve at Lord Recluse’s side. Yet more rumors persist that this service isn’t exactly voluntary, however.
You can read the Q&A here.