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Voyage Century Online : Two New Contests Announced

Posted Jan 19, 2007 by

Voyage Century announces two new contests for the weekend of Jan. 18-23.

On January 18th - 23rd Voyage Century will host two special events: Geography Quiz: Players have been having a great time sailing the seas, visiting cities, and crossing continents. Now they can earn rewards for their geography skills, not to mention knowledge of Voyage Century! Visit voyagecenturyonline.com to win prizes and show the world who is master of the seas!

Screenshot Competition: Got a great screenshot of a battle? Snapped a picture of an unforgettable moment? Enter the screenshot competition! Players compete in three categories: best screenshot, most original, and most popular. The players themselves will choose the winners! For more details and to see the screenshots, go to voyagecenturyonline.com.

Read more here.

Vanguard : Open Beta to Close on January 23

Posted Jan 19, 2007 by

GAME WIRE announces Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Open Beta will close on January 23

Sony Online Entertainment and Sigil Games Online announced today that the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes open beta will close on January 23 at 11:59 p.m. PST. In anticipation of the January 30th launch of the fantasy-themed MMORPG, the servers will be shut down, and all beta character profiles will be transferred to a test server. The test server will open after launch with timing to be determined. For those who have pre-ordered Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, early access will be granted to the live servers before the official release date. More information regarding the early access will be released shortly.

Players can now pre-order Vanguard: Saga of Heroes digitally and at retail. Additionally, gamers that pre-order retail versions will receive an exclusive endurance buff scroll that will allow their character to sprint for longer periods of time (one per account).

Read more here.

General : 2006 Editorial Awards

Posted Jan 19, 2007 by Jon Wood

Recently, the editorial staff here at MMORPG.com sat down to talk about the best of 2006. Today, we present you with our MMORPG.com 2006 Editorial Awards.

Before the dawn of 2007, we brought you our MMORPG.com Reader's Choice Awards, where our members got to vote on the games that they felt stood out in the year 2006. Today, MMORPG.com's editorial team gets a crack at giving out some awards.

While our categories are slightly different from those available in the Reader's Choice Awards, the MMORPG.com 2006 Editorial Awards shine the light on four different categories:

The categories are:

Come see who took home the prizes this year by clicking here.

General : Chinese Online Game Market Grows 73.5%

Posted Jan 18, 2007 by

Gamasutra has posted a report showing the growth in the Chinese Online game market. The revenues for 2006 rose up to 73.5% over the numbers in 2005.

According to a new report, the online games industry in China has recorded massive growth in 2006, with revenues up 73.5 percent over 2005 to a total of 6.54 billion Yuan ($839 million), 65 percent of which came from domestically developed games.

As reported by Sina, and translated by Gamasutra partner Pacific Epoch, China's General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) digital publication vice director Kou Xiaowei announced the news of the industry growth.

Apart from the 4.24 billion Yuan ($544 mil) brought in by domestically developed games, $20 million in revenues was recorded for Chinese games exported overseas in 2006. Casual games were also reportedly responsible for 18.8 percent of the yearly growth, with a total revenue of 1.23 billion Yuan ($158 mil).

The Sina report notes that China currently houses 90 online game development companies, 25 in Beijing and 20 in Shangai alone. Development staff for the companies hit nearly 14,000 employees in 2006, a rise of 11 percent over the prior year. Despite the tremendous rise in revenue and staff, only 8 new online game companies were formed in 2006, compared to 24 in 2005.

Market research firm IDC has estimated that revenue from the Chinese online game market, which hosts an estimated 31 million players, will grow 30 percent annually to 25 billion Yuan ($3.2 billion) by 2011, according to a related report from daily news site China Daily.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Gives Us a Look at Esteldin

Posted Jan 18, 2007 by

Lord of the Rings Online continues its exploring Middle Earth series with a look at Esteldin.

Few know the true nature of the Rangers of the North, those seemingly grim and cheerless Men who lead a secretive life in the wilderness of Eriador. Fewer still know of Esteldín, the hidden gathering place of the Rangers, tucked away in the wild, far from the travels of even the most distant wanderers. Esteldín is as secret and mysterious as the Rangers themselves. To the casual observer, one might see this as simply a place of ancient ruins, constructed long-ago by a forgotten culture in a shallow yet strategic canyon - crumbling towers and unmanned battlements, set amongst the remains of a once-majestic stronghold of soaring ornate arches and strong walls of finely carved stone.

In truth, these are remains of a great city of ancient Arnor, built along the border of the kingdoms of Arthedain and Rhudaur when the threat of war was constant between these two regions long ago. The ruins hold a special place in the hearts of the Rangers in these dark times, for as the power of Angmar again builds in the north, the Rangers remember all too well the destruction caused by the Witch-king in his war against the mighty North Kingdom so many years ago. From this secluded location, it is said that the Rangers coordinate their efforts and amass the findings of their research and travels in order to enact their plans against the the evil that again rises in the North. Of particular note is the Library of Arnor, a central depository of all preserved lore of the Dúnedain of the North.

While Esteldín was created by the designers of The Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar, it was drawn from inferences found within the text of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, clues that lead to a dwelling place of the Dúnedain of the North, where Aragorn's mother went to spend her final days among her own people. Players of LOTRO will have to follow in the footsteps of the Rangers if they want to find the hidden refuge of Esteldín.

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Newest Edition of The Scribe Online

Posted Jan 18, 2007 by

Guild Wars updates the latest edition of The Scribe.

Our meandering messenger has just penned this week's issue of The Scribe. You can get a little insight into the upcoming Testing Weekend, find out about the wintergreen item distribution, and learn who has been caught in the act of behaving nicely by picking up your copy of The Scribe today.

Read more here.

Myth War : Announces Tournament Winners

Posted Jan 18, 2007 by

Myth War announces PE winners, tournament champions and new power packs.

Myth War Online is constantly seeking comments and suggestions from its thousands of loyal players to improve their already popular and dynamic game. The high quality of the suggestions and comments have generated great excitement, and rewards for contributions have been high.

Myth War completed its PE competition for updates and suggestions on its guides this week. This contest was so successful that Myth War plans to hold another in the near future, with more topics and areas to discuss. A complete list of winners and their suggestions can be seen at this link.

Read more here.

Guild Wars Nightfall : MMORPG.com Review

Posted Jan 18, 2007 by Jon Wood

Our own Jeremy Starley takes a look at the stand-alone game, Guild Wars Nightfall.

Everyone's favorite subscription-free MMORPG is back with another new campaign, launched a mere six months after the release of Factions - Guild Wars' Asian-flavored expansion. This time we are visiting the African-themed lands of Elona, and the ride is quite a bit longer. As is the case with the previous expansion, the base game is not required to play, but you won't have access to the material from the original game or Factions unless you own them.

Rather than the ultra-short PVE campaign of Factions, Nightfall treats us to a much longer storyline. In fact, you will most likely hit the level cap - yes, it's still 20 - about one-quarter of the way through the game. As has been said before about Guild Wars, maxing out your level does not indicate the end of your character's growth, but rather the point in his career where it gets interesting.

You can read the review here.

General : Casual Play: A Guild Too Far

Posted Jan 18, 2007 by Jon Wood

Steve Wilson's weekly column, Casual Play, follows the MMO thoughs of a non-hardcore player as he addresses the genre from that perspective. This week, he tackles Guilds in a column called "A Guild Too Far".

"Not bad back there, you know our guild is recruiting right now..."

I'll admit I was interested. It would be much better to have a pool of people to adventure with rather than always looking for pick up groups. It would also be a lot more fun in the battlegrounds to run with folks that saw it more as a team sport than a mob activity. The two players I'd hooked up with in order to venture through one of my rare forays into an instance seemed like decent guys. There'd been no arguing over loot or tactics, no berating of anyone in the pick up group, if their guild was the same it might not be a bad proposition. I'd be more than willing to help out when needed knowing there'd be a community to do the same for me. Guilds in online games are almost a requirement. I was plenty interested.

"Really? I've been sort of looking for a guild and would love to join the right one. I mostly enjoy the battlegrounds and would like to find a solid group to run with."

You can read the whole article here.

City of Villains : New Double Experience Weekend

Posted Jan 17, 2007 by

City of Villians announces new double experience weekend on January 26th to the 28th.

Gather your teams and get ready! Shape up your soloing prowess! Get those eager lackeys in line! It's time to clean up and cash in!

Another Double Experience Weekend looms on the horizon! Mark January 26th to the 28th on your calendar because you won't want to miss it! All weekend long, experience, infamy/influence and prestige rewards will be doubled! It's time to level up!

Read more about City of Villians here.

Guild Wars : Latest Update to PvP Primer

Posted Jan 17, 2007 by

Guild Wars new PvP Primer discusses Alliance Battle builds.

As discussed last week in an earlier issue of the PvP Primer, Alliance Battles furnish a great learning ground for PvP combat, providing lessons that can be applied to many other forms of competitive play. Read this week's article for ideas on builds that have AB variants which offer that broader application.

Read more here.

Star Trek Online (Perpetual) : New Website Now Up and Online

Posted Jan 17, 2007 by

Star Trek Online updates to a new website.

Star Trek Online has updated its website with a whole new look. View the new website here.

Read more about Star Trek Online here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Beta Journal Looks At Burglar Class

Posted Jan 17, 2007 by

Lord of the Rings Online latest Beta Journal looks at the Burglar class.

For today's Beta Journal, we asked our Beta Program participants to talk about the experience of playing the Burglar Class.

Read more about Lord of the Rings Online here.

EverQuest II : Latest Dev Chest! Update

Posted Jan 17, 2007 by

Everquest II updates website with the latest Dev Chest!

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!

Read more about Everquest II here.

Trickster Online : Player Second Jobs Announced

Posted Jan 17, 2007 by

Trickster Online announces new content focusing on player second jobs.

Ntreev USA Inc. announced today that Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy will be releasing new content for their popular 2D fantasy MMORPG, Trickster Online: Links to Fantasy.

The new content to be released is referred to as Second Jobs. This new content grants new Jobs to all Player Characters. The new Jobs will be available to Characters above Level 50 with a TM Level of 40 or greater. The new Second Jobs, not only will change the appearance of the Characters, it will also unlock Skills and Skill sets that as of yet have been unavailable.

Each Character will have their own unique Second Job available to them, which will include Skills and Skill sets completely unique to that job. This new release will add a completely new dimension and even greater depth to the engrossing Trickster Online experience. The Second Jobs will be part of the current patch as announced on the official Trickster Online website.

Read more here.

Asheron's Call : Live Events Announcement

Posted Jan 17, 2007 by

Asheron's Call announces live events content for January and February.

In the past, players have asked for a schedule when we run important, story-based live-ops. We do listen, and so we are providing the schedule of the various runs of the Portal to Bur live-op. All live-ops will run at 10 PM Eastern Standard Time. The dates of the live-op are as follows:

January 22: Leafcull

January 23: Solclaim

January 24: Thistledown

January 25: Morningthaw

January 29: Wintersebb

January 30: Frostfell

January 31: Harvestgain

February 1: Verdantine

February 2: Darktide

Please note that Prince Borelean will want the portal site as prepared as possible on the day of the ritual. If the site is not ready, there may be delays so that the portal site may be prepared. As for what constitutes preparedness, we encourage players to log into the game and find out!

Snow Lilies are now hookable on yard and floor hooks.

The message that players get about the timer on housing can be a bit confusing. The message that players got before was: Housing cannot be purchased by accounts less than 15 days old. This message has been changed to: You may not purchase housing until your account has been active on this game world for 15 days. This will hopefully clear up any confusion regarding the purchase of housing.

Miscellaneous Changes and Improvements:

In the Finding Asheron string of quests, players are not informed they are working towards accessing the location of Asheron. This has been changed and the rumors players get for the quests now allude to them having more of a purpose, as well as clarifying the level breaks on the quests.

There was an issue with one of the decoy goblets on the Following Asheron's Trail quest where it had the same description as the actual goblet players needed to get, This was causing confusion to some people running the quest. This has been fixed and the description is no longer the same.

After reading feedback from players on the forums as well as speaking to the team, we feel the XP yield on the Caul should be returned to its original numbers. A couple of years ago the xp was lowered because it was too high. We had originally said this would not make it in until the February event; however the team was able to make this adjustment for the January event.

The Ruschk on the Dark Isle that are supposed to be listed as Undead are now the proper creature type. Previously they were marked as regular Ruschk instead of Undead.

Read more here.

General : Community Spotlight: Customization

Posted Jan 17, 2007 by Jon Wood

Managing Editor Jon Wood returns this week to write a new Community Spotlight. This time, he's turning the focus onto the idea of the importance of character customization.

It's Wednesday, and I find myself once again compelled to drop in on one of the many conversations that our members are having in our forums. This time around, it was a thread called Character Customization created by Chrysos.

"I wonder how much dev time and money is put into making customer customization possible." He said, "personally, I don't get it. Outside of the time you spend creating your character and the time game reviewers spend waxing lyrical about it. What is the use of having 4 different things you can change to your cheeks (see the 2007 CES Conan preview).

"You recognize people in game from the name above their head not because their nose is slightly wider than the other dwarfs. I want to try to be unique in game as well but it seems to me that that is better achieved by being able to get distictive clothing and gear. Be honest how many times has anybody actually looked closely enough at another characters face to notice the subtle adjustements they made during character creation, those times that the face isn't obscured by some form of headwear anyway."

You can read the whole article here.

General : Seen at CES Part 2

Posted Jan 17, 2007 by Jon Wood

Carolyn Koh started her CES coverage this year by taking a look at some of the technologies being displayed. Today, she ends our coverage in the same way as she looks at a varitey of different pieces of hardware.

Granted, CES is not E3, I had to hunt and ask for gaming hardware and received promises of information and pictures. Quite a bit of "Oh yes we do, but we don't have it with us," was heard and some booths I never found, due to the confusing nature of several different locations and exhibitors scattered throughout, although some were grouped somewhat, I covered the "game zone" and "tech zone" but again, as this isn't E3, not all exhibitors showing gaming equipment are cross-listed.

Most of the hot stuff was seen at the two media events, but I did run into Patriot Memory http://www.patriotmemory.com who announced their DDR2, 1260MHz high performance memory modules - over-clockable to 1302MHz - totally drool-worthy. John Diamonon, Patriot Memory's Marketing Manager also informed me that their memory modules were picked by Maximum PC magazine to kick-off their 2007 Extreme Machine Tour.

Read her whole article here.

Vanguard : Official Forums Closed

Posted Jan 16, 2007 by

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes officially closes forums. Players must now use the forums on fansites.

The Vanguard forums are now closed but together with leading community members we formed the Vanguard Affiliate Fansite Program, these trusted sites will be the "Vanguard" of Vanguard's community.

These sites are the places to be for interaction with the developers as well as upcoming features and interviews for Vanguard. Be sure to check back here www.vanguardsoh.com for all your Vanguard: Saga of Heroes news.

Check out the fansite page, their communities are happy to have you!

Read more here.

Guild Wars : Test Weekend Coming Up

Posted Jan 16, 2007 by

Guild Wars announces upcoming testing weekend.

This weekend, you are invited to test a number of skill balance changes and alterations to the Heroes' Ascent area. Join us on Friday, January 19, around Noon PST and try out the changes to the PvP area and to a number of skills. During the test and after, we encourage you to share your thoughts with us via our many fansite forums. The testing weekend will run through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 21 (7:59 GMT on January 22.)

Read more here.

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