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Star Wars: The Old Republic : Sean Williams To Pen TOR Novel?

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The folks over at New Jedi Order Encyclopedia have uncovered a listing (including ISBN) for a Star Wars: The Old Republic novel by author Sean Williams.

According to the listing, the novel is set to release on July 27, 2010. No further details are available at this time.

NJOE.[Via TheForce.net]

Star Trek Online : Playable Borg Under Consideration

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Michael Bitton

In a recent interview with IncGamers, Star Trek Online Lead Designer Al Rivera revealed that the Borg (among other races) are being considered as playable races for the game.

When asked what other factions (besides Federation and Klingon) players could expect in the future, Rivera answered, "There is no shortage of ideas from the IP. Certainly, we have considered Romulan, Star Trek Online Borg, Dominion, and more." Not willing to offer any concrete confirmation, however, Rivera cautions, "We are not committed to anything specific at this time - we're just focusing on Federation and Klingons right now."

I imagine anything is better than a flat out "No" for eager Borg fans out there.

For the full interview with Al Rivera, head over to IncGamers.

Asheron's Call : 10th Anniversary Celebration!

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Asheron's Call launched on November 2nd, 1999, making today the venerable MMOG's 10th anniversary! To celebrate, Turbine will be running live events throughout the day that will also bring back many fan favorite lore and signature characters.

Previously, we reported on a number of additions that would be introduced to the game with today's 10th anniversary celebration, and today Turbine has sent us a batch of new screenshots to show the new additions off!

For more information on today's festivities, check out the official Asheron's Call website.

Age of Conan : Rise of the Godslayer Screenshots 2

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Jon Wood

Funcom has released these three new, exclusive screenshots from their upcoming Age of Conan expansion, Rise of the Godslayer

Check out Rise of the Godslayer Screenshots 2.

Warhammer Online : Taking Another Look - Post 1.3.2

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com's Jon wood has re-entered the world of Warhammer Online to bring us his initial thoughts on the changes that have been made since he last left the game, with special focus on the recent 1.3.2 update.

When Warhammer Online first launched, I was excited. When MMOs aren't the focus of my time in front of the computer, highly competitive PvP FPS games are. So, in watching the development of WAR, I was excited about the prospect of a PvP MMO in such a familiar and iconic setting.

When the game launched, I wasn't one of the people who railed against it from the beginning. I actually quite enjoyed my time in the game, levelling a shocking number of characters through to the middle of Tier 2 while my primary character worked his way through T3.

Read Taking Another Look - Post 1.3.2.

Black Prophecy : October Newsletter

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The October Black Prophecy newsletter has is now available to eager fans following the sci-fi space faring MMOG's development.

The latest newsletter highlights the game's recent media coverage, including an interview and new batch of screenshots appearing over at ZAM, and also makes mention of the latest Developer Diary featuring the art direction of the Tyi faction, as well as the "Pimp My Ship" thread on the game's official forums where community members are submitting their own 3D ship design drafts.

Read the October newsletter here.

Aion : Veteran Rewards System Details

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Details for the Aion Veteran Rewards system to be introduced this month have surfaced on the official Aion website. Each month a player is subscribed to the game will qualify them for new rewards, with each reward redeemable for every character on the player's account. The rewards will be received through in-game mail, with the first batch to be delivered on November 4th, 2009.

The current list of rewards spans months one through six, with the list of items available below:

Veteran Rewards Items
Month 1: Pop Daeva

  • Expand Cube Ticket
  • Pop Legend emote
  • 4 Lodas Amulets
  • 4 Revival Stones

You jumped into Aion and are off exploring the visually stunning world of Atreia. To help you along in your travels, we will give you four Lodas Amulets, four Revival Stones, an exclusive Pop Legend emote, and an Expand Cube Ticket.
 

Month 2: Honored Daeva

  • 4 Lodas Amulets
  • 4 Revival Stones

This month, we will give you four more Lodas Amulets and Revival Stones to fortify you against the challenges ahead. Good luck! Atreia is counting on you.
 

Month 3: Dance Daeva

  • Adept of Aion title
  • Forbidden Dance emote
  • 4 Lodas Amulets
  • 4 Revival Stones

Your commitment has earned you the title "Adept of Aion" and another exclusive emote: Forbidden Dance! In addition, we will give you four Lodas Amulets and four Revival Stones.
 

Months 4 and 5: Honored Daeva

  • 4 Lodas Amulets
  • 4 Revival Stones

These months, we will give you four more Lodas Amulets and Revival Stones to fortify you against the challenges ahead. Good luck! Atreia is counting on you.
 

Month 6: Soaring Daeva

  • Wing Feather of the Black Cloud Traders (level 40)
  • 4 Lodas Amulets
  • 4 Revival Stones

For more information, including a Veteran Rewards FAQ, go here.

Darkfall : Newborn on Agon Trains Newbies

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Much has been made about Darkfall's supposed harsh community and steep learning curve, but a recent entry at the Hardcore Casual blog brings attention to the Newborn of Agon, or NEW, a clan which helps cultivate new Darkfall players by training them for 30 days in whatever they may be interested in.

The clan is neutral in affiliation, though it has found support from many of the game's alliance's and guilds on the official Darkfall forums.

Find out more about NEW here.

Hardcore Casual [via Massively]

City of Heroes : Looking at the Guest Author Program

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com City of Heroes Correspondent Cecil Adkins writes this look at the CoH Guest Author program, and even offers his own insights into one of the new missions.

Paragon Studios recently unveiled the first batch of Guest Author arcs for its Mission Architect system in City of Heroes. These arcs are written by established authors in various mediums and genres and feature a unique take on their work filtered through the City of Heroes game world. The writers for the first round of Guest Author arcs are Bill Willingham, Scott Kurtz, and the Rooster Teeth production group.

Bill Willingham, today best known for his work on DC/Vertigo's wonderful Fables comic, writes "Quest For Magic" (arc ID 337434), my full review of which can be found here. It's a well-written and straightforward storyarc, filled with rich details and character back stories. It unfortunately also has a pretty obvious plot twist, but if you can get past that (and it shouldn't be difficult to do so) it's a fun arc that I'd highly recommend. The Rooster Teeth gang, best known for their machinima Red vs. Blue series, contribute two arcs to the series. Both of their arcs (arc IDs 337438 and 337436) feature Captain Dynamic and the Great Face, characters they created in a series of live-action shorts for Paragon Studios promoting the Mission Architect prior to the MA's launch. I'll be reviewing the Rooster Teeth arcs in detail in the near future, but for now I want to take a look at the other writer in the inaugural Guest Author series.

Read Looking at the Guest Author Program.

General : MAINGEAR Hardware Interview

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Jon Wood

MAINGEAR is a US based computer hardware company selling high end gaming rigs to players across the country. Today, their CEO Wallace Santos answers Garrett Fuller's questions about their technology and what makes them feel that they stand out amongst their competition.

MMORPG.com:

For those who don't know about MAINGEAR, tell us about your company and how it started?

Wallace Santos:

MAINGEAR was founded in 2002 after my partners and I had established a successful technical services consulting firm. After seeing the lack of support and quality in the PC business during the course of doing business, we thought we could do it better. And since we were avid gamers, we decided to make the company gaming-centric. Thus, MAINGEAR was born.

Read the MAINGEAR Hardware Interview.

General : Free Zone: A Developer's Shift to F2P

Posted Nov 02, 2009 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com Columnist Richard Aihoshi discusses the transition for one developer in particular in moving from a career working on subscription based MMOs and into the F2P sector of the industry.

Richard Aihoshi

"Imagine an MMOG based in a fantasy world with multiple classes to choose from. You can customize your look. The core play includes leveling up your character, defeating creatures, improving your equipment, and getting other players together to defeat some pretty tough bosses. You can trade items with one another, fight in PvP battles, send in-game mail, and form guilds. Am I talking about World of Warcraft? Warhammer Online? EverQuest II?"

While the feature set listed by Chris Lena is common enough to be in quite a number of releases, his questions point out an undeniable reality, which is that many people would initially associate it with major subscription offerings. In fact, he's referring to Dragonica Online, the free to play game launched a couple of weeks ago by publisher THQ*ICE.

Read A Developer's Shift to F2P.

Warhammer Online : Experience Tier 1 For Free, Forever!

Posted Oct 30, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Nestled away in the overview of of Version 1.3.2 "Path of Conquest" in this month's WAR newsletter are details of some pretty significant changes coming to Warhammer Online.

This month's newsletter reveals that the currently available 10 day free trial will soon be free of any time restrictions, meaning that players can essentially play the game free of charge as long as they remain in Tier 1. This sounds awfully similar to the "Freemium" model that the Chronicles of Spellborn had been utilizing not long ago.

There aren't currently any details on whether or not any additional restrictions would be applied, though it would probably be safe to assume that any restrictions (such as being limited to Tier 1) that are currently part of the 10 day trial would remain.

For more information about the Free Trial, read the Trial FAQ here.

Fallen Earth : Meet Your Costume Contest Winners!

Posted Oct 30, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The winners of the 2009 Fallen Earth Costume Contest have been announced! The four winners and four honorable mentions can be viewed at the Costume Contest page on the official Fallen Earth website. 

The winners are:

  • Most Original Setting: Sinoth
  • Most Accurate Game Costume: blackenedlegions
  • Best Inside Joke on Scavenging: spookdi
  • Honorable Mentions: faust, Schipperke, Beorend, jac428

The team would also like to send a special shout out to "Aftermath" of Massively.com for participating and sending a great costume!

Congrats! View the winners' costumes here!

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Military Personnel Get Six Months Free

Posted Oct 30, 2009 by Michael Bitton

Military personnel that can verify their status through a .mil e-mail address will be able to partake in an interesting promotion announced by Flying Lab Software this week. The promotion offers six months of Pirates of the Burning Sea to military personnel, however, in order to continue playing after the free six months you will still have to purchase a copy of the game.

Current subscribers who are in the military will also be able to add an additional six months to their subscription time at no cost as part of this offer.

Further details on the promotion can be found here.

General : The List: Five Scariest MMO Launches

Posted Oct 30, 2009 by Dana Massey

Halloween is on Sunday and we decided to honor it by bringing back some scary memories. We count down the five scariest MMO launches of all time!

The List

Some early games, like EverQuest and Ultima Online, get breaks too. Why? No one had really done it on that scale before. They get a guinea pig exemption.

I am also going to overlook two of the worst in history, because, honestly, I am not sure they ever actually launched. I’m looking at you MouRning (or whatever it was calling itself that afternoon) and Dark and Light. They claimed they launched sure, I think they even charged some poor souls money, but for all intents and purposes, those games were dead on arrival.

Honorable mention goes out to World War II Online who hilariously launched a World War II MMO with planes that couldn’t fly.

This is a list of five terrible MMO launches (emphasis on launches). This is not about how good the games were or were not, just the ones that fell down and went boom.

Read it all here.

Star Trek Online : The Future Past: Part 2

Posted Oct 30, 2009 by Michael Bitton

The lore video series continues over at GameSpot with the release of The Future Past: Part 2. The video starts out catching up viewers with the events highlighted in part one, and then fills in the rest of the gaps that lead to the war between the Federation and the Klingon in the year 2409, which is when Star Trek Online will take place.

It has also been revealed that the Klingon, Gorn, Nausicaan, and Orion races will all be part of the Klingon faction.

Watch the video here.

General : Fallout MMO: Interplay Debunks Rumor

Posted Oct 30, 2009 by Michael Bitton

A recent report on Fallout fansite No Mutants Allowed had claimed that the court has ruled in favor of Interplay with regards to Bethesda's motion for a preliminary injunction. A preliminary injunction against Interplay would have prevented the company from going forward with their work on the Fallout MMO until the case has been decided.

The report has since been debunked by Interplay's in-house lawyer, who admits you will rarely hear from him, but felt it was necessary to come out and clear the air. Chris N of Interplay's Executive Team had this to say over at Interplay's official forums, "The Court has not ruled on Bethesda's Motion for Prelminary Injunction. A proposed order was filed with our Opposition to the Motion, but that is not the same as an Order of the Court. The hearing is weeks away. Interplay will issue an official statement if there is a material development that needs to be addressed. Please do not rely on rumor or speculation."

Via Blue's News.

Star Wars: The Old Republic : Friday Update: Jedi Knight Unveiled!

Posted Oct 30, 2009 by Michael Bitton

As we reported earlier this week, we kind of knew this one was coming. But while this news may not be surprising for many of us, the Jedi Knight has been officially revealed today as this week's Friday Update. The Jedi Knight reads as kind of the counterpart of the Sith Warrior, as both classes seem to have a melee (lightsaber) bent.

The Jedi Knight is described below:

Valiant, Determined, Guardian of Peace

A symbol of hope in dark times, the Jedi Knight stands for the legacy of the Jedi Order—more than twenty-thousand years of protecting the Republic and keeping the peace across the galaxy. Though Jedi Knights have served as generals, guerilla fighters, and warriors for generations, their legendary combat prowess faces its greatest test during this age.

Through years of disciplined training and meditation, the Jedi Knight hones body and mind into perfect harmony. Combining the foresight of the Force with unrivaled reflexes and practiced physical precision, the Knight turns combat into an art form, gracefully executing acrobatic feats in tandem with elegant lightsaber tactics.

A source of inspiration to allies and intimidation to adversaries, the Jedi Knight’s presence is welcome in any confrontation. The Order’s long history of fighting for justice has earned the trust of countless friends and the hate of innumerable enemies. Few, though, are foolish enough to challenge a seasoned Jedi Knight unless they have the skills and technology to even the odds.

Facing the Dark Side

The Jedi’s dark counterparts scored many victories during the war, expanding their Empire, and putting the Republic on the defensive. Since the Treaty of Coruscant, the Sith have consolidated their military might, even while the Jedi have withdrawn to Tython, a move that’s been looked at with suspicion by many of the Republic’s politicians. Nonetheless, the war is far from over, and the Jedi Knight’s resolve remains firm. With unwavering allegiance to the Republic and the light side of the Force, the Jedi Knight fights with valiant determination, wading into the thick of any battle to protect freedom and democracy and hold fast against those who oppose it.

No matter how dire circumstances may become, the Jedi Knight trusts the Force and keeps a cool head. Knowledge and self-control are the critical components of wise decisions, and emotional and mental clarity are an absolute necessity. Maintaining focus allows the Knight to rely on intuition; a right mind leads to right action.

For many, the Jedi Knight is the guardian of a precious dream; a dream of peace, a dream of justice, a dream of a brighter future. The fate of the galaxy depends upon the Knight’s ability to keep this dream alive.

Details on the class have previously been scant, but he has been observed in a number of gameplay videos to date, so the class or its look won't come as a total surprise. Well, except for the concept art for the "ornate armor", which honestly has way too many buckles. The reveal does come with four new screenshots and pieces of concept art, as well as the three special ability clips, so check them out in the official Jedi Knight HoloNet entry.

Alternatively, you can view the new screenshots and concept art in our Star Wars: The Old Republic gallery.

UPDATE: A new interview revealing some additional details about the Jedi Knight class has been published over at GameSpot. The interview reveals that the class drew heavy inspiration from the character Mace Windu, and that would be similar in functionality to the Jedi Guardian of Knights of the Old Republic.

The Jedi Knight will also have access to team buffs and auras, and it was also hinted at that he would be able to fulfilll a tanking role, as it was revealed he will be able to manipulate aggro (Mind Trick, anyone?!).

Read the full interview here.

Thanks to user greed0104 for the tip!

Champions Online : Player Perspective: Superhero Discontent

Posted Oct 30, 2009 by Dana Massey

MMORPG.com Columnist Jamie Skelton writes this look at some of the discontent that has been flowing around the Champions Online forums surrounding the game.

Jaime Skelton

Then the C-Store updated its item listing on October 19, and there appeared what was in the hopes of some, and the fears of many. They made a full character retcon available for $12.50. It isn't that the community was opposed to a full retcon at this point - its tone toward that has changed some in the past two months - but rather, that the cost seems outrageous, comparable by only a few dollars to the monthly subscription fee itself. Although the fact remains that players can retcon their way back with in-game money, and Cryptic has said that they plan on offering a full respec at some point (likely to level 40s), the anger is directed instead at the cost. The community (and those outside of it), had been concerned about the double/triple-dipping scheme of a box charge, plus a subscription fee, plus micro-transaction. Their concerns were now being realized. Although the heat has died a little on this discussion, there is still a great worry about a $12.50 charge for something that's reported to be somewhat easy to obtain in-game.

Read it all here.

D&D Online : Update One Interview

Posted Oct 30, 2009 by Dana Massey

MMORPG.com's Jon Wood recently asked a few questions of DDO's Design Director Ian Currie about the recently launched Update One and the changes that it brought to the game.

Screenshot

MMORPG.com: Update One introduces a new high level adventure pack. Can you tell us a little bit about what players can expect from it, and is this something that players will have to buy separately through the DDO Store, or does it come for free?

Ian Currie: The new adventure pack is called The Path of Inspiration. It's free to VIP players but also available via the DDO Store to everyone levels 16 and up. It contains 5 adventures and has a storyline unlike anything we've done before. Players will get to experience some unique gameplay in this adventure pack, including having to guard their 'will' from a creature that would steal it, and entering the dreams of a well known character wherein they'll fight some nifty creatures from the plane of nightmares. Some very rewarding loot awaits them at the end of the last quest where they'll also learn that the job of an adventurer is never quite finished.

Read it all here.

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