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EVE Online : New Combat Features Interview

Posted Jan 16, 2007 by Jon Wood

Dan Fortier sat down for a quick chat with CCP's Huni "TomB" Hinrichsen about EVE Online's New Combat Features.

The new changes to the gang system seem to be focused on making them more manageable both for players and your server cluster. What changes do you expect to see in the way large fleet battles are fought with this new system?

Huni "TomB" Hinrichsen :

There are a lot of improvements that the new gang system creates. Broadcasts give faster and better communication between gang members whereas before they had to spend time searching for the target objective once they'd received it via voice communication or chat text. The group system allows the commanders to create squadrons or wings that are dedicated to a specific role such as a group of electronic warfare specialists or logistical support and so on.

I would like to point out, however, that this is only the beginning of our focus on fleet combat. We have been working like mad scientists on finding more group focused activities that will add more fun, versatility and excitement in the second installment of the three-part Revelations expansion. (Revelations II is coming in 2007, but we don't have a firm release date yet.) A few things you can look forward to seeing in Revelations II are massive bombs for stealth bombers, remote ECM bursts, remote force field arrays and totally revamped star base combat.

Read the whole article here.

Lord of the Rings Online : 2 New Movies

Posted Jan 16, 2007 by Ben Krueger

Turbine and Codemasters have released 2 new gameplay movies from LOTRO. The Shire and Duilond movies show off this impressive looking upcoming MMO.

First up The Shire

And last but not least Duilond

World of Warcraft : Burning Crusade FAQ Added to Website

Posted Jan 15, 2007 by

World of Warcaft: The Burning Crusade opens up a launch FAQ on their official website.

We've just posted a Burning Crusade launch FAQ in the forums to help answer questions players may have about tomorrow's release. Click here to take a look questgivers. Enjoy!

Read more here.

Winter's Twilight : Group and Party Information

Posted Jan 15, 2007 by

Winter's Twilight updates their website with new information about parties and groups.

Next up this year is the lowdown and benefits on being part of a group, or even the leader of a group! Read about it here. It's also in the 'New Players' section of the menu.

Read more here.

General : MMOWTF: MMO-holic

Posted Jan 15, 2007 by Jon Wood

Dan Fortier returns this week to talk about his take on the idea of MMO addiction.

I'd like to welcome you all back to my little corner of for the first real column of the new year. As always, there is no shortage of MMO related news to throw into the grinder and this week's topic should get the ball rolling nicely. Today, I decided to put my cross-hairs on one of the granddads of virtual plagues: MMO addiction. Is this a real addiction and who does it affect? Take a quick swig of some Pepto-Bismol and read on to find out!

There are plenty enough things in life to worry about killing you or ruining your life without inventing new problems. Even health nuts admit every breath you take brings a lung full of cancer causing material into your body and fun activities like skiing can be dangerous if you happen to be a former Mayor of Palm Springs or the Governator of California. All kinds of drugs, prescription and otherwise, can create more medical problems than they solve. As if all this isn't bad enough, some people can find unhealthy fixation with the games that make us forget all the crap I just mentioned.

You can read the whole column here.

Lord of the Rings Online : CES Preview

Posted Jan 15, 2007 by Jon Wood

Carolyn Koh was in Las Vegas for CES and brings us this report on Turbine's next MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

Poised to ship in the 2nd quarter of the year, Adam Mersky, Director of Communications was justifiably excited. "We had over 300,000 beta sign-ups," he said, "and we've garnered interest from fans of Tolkien, fans who've never played an MMO before."

The lands of Eriador will be available for players to play in at launch and since they had been previously asked about the size of the actual land mass, they looked and measured. Eriador boasts 30,000 square miles of area for players to explore. To assist in that, mounts will be available to travel from point to point. Players can also pick up the skill to ride a mount and hence buy and own one at level 35 if they wish.

Read the whole article here.

Warhammer Online : Interview With Erik Mogensen

Posted Jan 15, 2007 by Jon Wood

News Editor Garrett Fuller had the chance to sit down for a one on one with Erik Morgensen from Games Workshop to talk about Warhammer Online from the perspective of the licenser of the Warhammer IP.

2006 was a big year for Games Workshop with the launch of Mark of Chaos, the Dawn of War expansions, and of course the development of Warhammer Online. Can you give us some insight into what is on the plate for 2007?

Erik Mogensen:

First of all, I'd like to wish you and all the fans out there a very happy New Year. 2007 is going to be very exciting for all of us!

Obviously, the big news for MMO fans is that there is now less than a year to wait until Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning's release date. We all know how fast a year can go by! I'm afraid I'm going to have to resort to the old 'nothing's been announced yet' regarding other projects. Sorry. Our other licensees THQ and Namco Bandai Games have plans in the works, but I'm going to leave it to them to reveal what's cooking when they think the time is right. I'll tell you this much: I'm very busy these days!

Read the whole article here.

Spellborn : Open Beta and Release Date Announcement

Posted Jan 15, 2007 by

The Chronicles of Spellborn gives us some information on open beta and release date.

Things are going extremely well here at the Spellborn office. The game is looking, sounding, feeling and playing better every day. Over the last few weeks we matched the development schedule with the release schedules of our publishers and we are happy to announce that we have defined dates for open beta and for release. Open beta can be expected to start early April 2007 and release in Europe is planned for May 2007 with other continents following in Q2 and Q3. The third closed beta phase is planned to start early February 2007 and we are looking forward to the feedback from all our closed beta members.

These last few months the entire team will focus on finishing the game and preparing all services needed for launch such as customer support and billing. To ensure that we have a clear and direct channel of communication we decided to close down our open irc channels and focus all our communication efforts on our official forums.

The next few months are going to be very exciting and we want to thank you all for taking this journey with us. We hope to welcome you in our closed or open beta soon!

Read more here.

Shot Online : No Course Fees Event Announced

Posted Jan 15, 2007 by

Shot-Online announces "No Course Fees" event.

Shot-Online announced today that there will be no "NG" fee at any of the 16 courses in Shot-Online on January 15, 2007. This special event coincides with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States.

Players are invited to take advantage of this special offer and play any of the courses as many times, free-of-charge, as they like on January 15th.

"We wanted to celebrate this day in a special way", said Chris Yamauchi, Shot-Online General Manager, about the reason for creating the no fee event.

Read more here.

General : Saturday Debate: Fantasy Races

Posted Jan 13, 2007 by Jon Wood

News Editor Garrett Fuller and Staff Writer Derek Czerkaski sit down to discuss the issue of Traditional fantasy races.

Derek Czerkaski:

Alright, sweet, a new MMO! THIS ONE is going to set the bar for MMORPG's for generations to come, I just know it! Let's get this beast installed, and get to playing it already. While I'm waiting, I guess I'll have a look at what races are available for me to play. Let's see here, we've got two human races, but who wants to be a human in-game and out of game? We've got 4 variations of Elves, that's pretty weak. They look like humans, except with pointy ears. Oh cool, Greenskins, yet they're basically just uglier, green variations of humans. Oh there are the Dwarves and Gnomes. Gee, a bearded, midget human race; how incredibly creative. Last, we have 2 Barbarian-like races, more super-sized humans.

What is this crap? Doesn't anyone have anything creative on their mind out there? Twelve unique races huh, because it looks like humans with palette swaps and varied skins to me. How come every race in the history of all fantasy worlds are nearly identical too each other, minus some simple lore details? Don't game developers have any cool ideas? I'd love to play as a spider-race, wielding six weapons at one time, and not being able to wear armor. How about playing as a winged race, where I can fly? Heck, maybe I'd like to play as a mole race, that's capable of burrowing to set up traps, or ambush their enemies by hiding underground. I'm sick and tired of running around playing as the same generic garbage in a fantasy setting. If you're going to offer me unique races, make them truly stand out from the crowd.

You can read the whole debate here.

2Moons : Announces Closed Beta

Posted Jan 13, 2007 by

Acclaim Games annouces the beginning of the closed Beta test for 2Moons.

Acclaim Games is pleased to announce the start of Closed Beta testing for 2Moons, a totally brutal Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) that is FREE to download and play on a PC. With the tagline "No mercy for the weak, no pity for the dying, no tears for the slain", 2Moons was designed exclusively for Adult gamers age 17 and over, featuring extreme fantasy violence, profanity, an epic story, and heart-pumping action.

Since Closed Beta email registration began in August 2006, without any marketing, over 100,000 gamers have already signed up to participate via the official 2Moons website at

These Closed Beta testers will be given an exclusive & confidential first look at the game, and are asked to report bugs and issues, and to make suggestions to the development team.

2Moons was designed to be easy for any player to get into and enjoy right away. Featuring elements of traditional role-playing games and arcade-style fighting action, 2Moons will appeal to a broad range of players who seek a thrilling, action-packed gaming experience in an exciting story. The game story is set in an aggressive, dangerous, and visually stunning world and was written by writer Henry Jones.

"I've made a lot of games over the years", says the game's Director David Perry. "There's no doubt that by the time we're done, 2Moons will have really earned it's 'Most Edgy MMORPG' accolade. The Beta testers will be able to see all the new features getting added over time. They'll also be able to help us craft this into a game they each personally love."

2Moons is the third release from the new Acclaim, a resurrected company with a familiar name. The new Acclaim will focus entirely on providing quality multiplayer online games for free. The games will be supported with a mix of advertising and virtual item stores. For 2Moons, players will also be allowed to turn off the in-game adverting if they choose to, a major innovation in the FREE online game industry. Acclaim has already partnered with IGA to provide in-game advertising for its other online game titles.

Players will also have a chance to be a part of the actual game itself. Several lucky players will be able to participate in the development process by providing the voices for characters in 2Moons. Acclaim will choose the best player voice recordings to go into the game. Get more information at

To play 2Moons and participate in Closed Beta testing, registered players must receive an official invitation by email. Invitations will be emailed regularly on a first come, first served basis. Fans that have not yet registered are encouraged to sign up at, as Closed Beta space may be limited.

2Moons Closed Beta is expected to last several weeks, followed by Open Beta testing where a larger group can participate to further test the game before official release. Register now to be one of the first to experience this exciting new game!

Read more here.

General : Stray Bullet Begins Work on New MMO

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Stray Bullet Games begins work on a new in-house MMO based on an original intellectual property.

Stray Bullet Games has begun an exciting new era with the development of a new massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. The new project is based on an original intellectual property conceived in-house, and while the concept phase is ongoing we are actively developing a proof of concept prototype.

With this new project, Stray Bullet is committed to creating a fully-realized, ongoing online conflict that combines furious action with tactical and strategic game play. In the game to come characters, guilds, and global factions will engage in meaningful, exciting, and fun mass combat. To realize this vision the team is drawing upon our experience, the lessons learned developing and supporting Shadowbane, and is looking outside the MMO genre to strategy and tactical games for inspiration.

While it is still too early to release extensive details on the game, says Frank Lucero, Vice President of Product Development and COO, we have a firm hand on what the game will and will not be. We have taken what we've learned and applied it to every aspect of the design and development of the game.

Mike Madden, the Creative Director, had more to say about the design process for the new project. We have two guiding principles: Rely upon the familiar and Be bold. Madden explained further; In setting, systems and game play, we want to build on a firm foundation of features that are familiar and comfortable to MMO players, making the game as inviting and accessible as possible. We see no need to innovate in areas MMOs already do well. At the same time, in areas that do require innovation to achieve our goals, Stray Bullet will never think small.

Stray Bullet has already decided not to create its own game engine. We are dedicated to using middleware technology solutions whenever possible, says Ala Diaz, Stray Bullet's Technical Director. This lets us minimize risk by focusing developer efforts on fun game play and entertaining experiences instead of new technologies and MMO infrastructure.

One of the key aspects of the new project is its look and feel. Our goal is to create a dynamic art style that is timeless, and that will create passion and excitement within the studio and MMOG community, says Ivan Enriquez, the Art Director at Stray Bullet Games. We are building an unbeatable team of highly talented artists, with years of industry experience. We hope you find this small sample as exciting as we do.

When I see the passion and excitement this new project has already generated in every member of the team, I'm thrilled, says Mark Nausha, President and CEO. In a few short months Stray Bullet has generated strong buzz, and I'm very pleased with the amount of interest we are seeing in our studio and this new project. This team has the experience, the tools, and the talent to make Stray Bullet a force in the MMO game space, and this new project begins the journey.

Due to the stage the project is currently in, Stray Bullet Games will not be releasing additional details on the project in the near future but we look forward to bringing you more conceptual art as it develops.

While Stray Bullet Games currently only has an open position for a Junior Programmer, the company is always on the lookout for highly motivated individuals. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the burgeoning market of online entertainment, please don't hesitate to send us your resume and/or portfolio electronically to

Read more here.

General : Game/On Commentary

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by Jon Wood is pleased to release the newest episode of our weekly podcast, Game/On.

This week on's Game/On Co-Hosts Jon Wood and Garrett Fuller discuss Vanguard's upcoming launch, Blizzard's announcement that they now have over 8 million players, EA's role in the MMO industry, and more!

You can listen to the podcast here.

Gods and Heroes : Screenshots

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Perpetual Entertainment's Gods & Heroes have provided us with 10 new screenshots for our viewing pleasure:

You can view the screenshots here.

Ragnarok Online : Gravity Co. Signs Pact for Ragnarok 2

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Gravity Co. signs licensing agreements for Ragnarock Online 2.

Gravity, Co., an online game developer and publisher, announced that it has entered into licensing agreements for Ragnarok Online 2 (or RO2) in Japan and Thailand, pursuant to Memorandum of Understandings, or MOUs, entered into with various licensees in each country in August 2006.

The agreement was entered into with GungHo Online Entertainment in Japan on September 29, 2006 and with Asiasoft Corporation in Thailand on September 22, 2006, effective from the commercial service date of the game.

As a result of these agreements, the company is expected to earn US$ 23 million or more in license fees and minimum guaranteed payments during the first two to three years from the date that commercial service of RO2 commences in these two markets.

Mr. Il Young Ryu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gravity, said "We will continue to reinforce the strategy of expanding our global markets by penetrating into new markets with RO2 and maintaining our current markets of RO. In addition to the above two markets, we are in the final stages of negotiations to license and distribute RO2 in other countries, which we plan to disclose as soon as the operative agreements are finalized and executed. We are executing the internal alpha test of RO2 and we do not expect any difficulties in launching the beta testing of RO2 in Korea by the end of this year or early next year. In a fiercely competitive market for online games, we hope that RO2 is as successful as its predecessor RO."

Read more here.

Age of Conan : New Class System Review

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Age of Conan gives us a class system review. The following is only an excerpt. You can read the entire article here.

This week we take a look at some of the changes that are taking place during the beta process and wanted to put some 'meat on the bones' on a decision tying into the class structure in Age of Conan.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Latest Issue of The Scribe Now Online

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

The latest issue of The Scribe is release from Guild Wars.

Take a look at this week's RP periodical for news about a splendid new opportunity offered by the Priests of Balthazar. Also check out a few words on the conclusion of the Wintersday Festival and of course note with approbation those citizens called out in the Random Acts of Kindness section. Find the newest issue here.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : New Burning Crusade Mini-Site

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

World of Warcraft puts up a new Burning Crusade website just days before its release.

For the release of The Burning Crusade, our team of web goblins has whipped up something special. Our new Burning Crusade Flash mini-site is an interactive introduction to the expansion packed with graphics, music, animation, mini-games, and perhaps even a few secret rewards. Navigate through the site's sections by clicking the floating spheres on the bottom right of the page - and keep an eye out for those questgivers. Enjoy!

Read more here.

Voyage Century Online : Fourth Server Up and Running

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Voyage Century launches fourth server.

Only days after launching their third server, Voyage Century Online announces the launching of their fourth server. Yes, this exciting 16th century nautical game has proven to be so successful that four servers are now necessary! Voyage Century is proud of the addition of Captain Cook to their family, joining servers Columbus, Magellan, and De Gama.

James Cook, the great British explorer, lived from 1728 to 1779. He commanded three voyages of discovery for Great Britain and sailed around the world twice. Captain Cook's voyages led to the founding of European colonies throughout the Pacific.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : New Website Launched

Posted Jan 12, 2007 by

Pirates of the Burning Sea unveils new website.

Flying Lab Software unveiled a website redesign ( for their award-winning MMORPG Pirates of the Burning Sea, a massively multiplayer online game of swashbuckling adventure on land and sea, set in the Caribbean during the 1720s.

In addition to the brand-new look, the updated Pirates of the Burning Sea website introduced twelve never-before-seen screenshots of breathtaking environments from the game world. The bold site design, launched in tandem with a new Developer Log from Flying Lab Software CEO, Russell Williams, signals the fast approaching June 2007 release date for Pirates of the Burning Sea.

Read more about Pirates of the Burning Sea here.

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