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EverQuest II : Producer's Letter

Posted Dec 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

Scott Hartsman, the Senior Producer of Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest II has released a Producer's Letter. in this letter, Hartsman tackles the current status of the game: Echoes of Faydwer, Play the Fae, Update 30 and more! As you might expect, the letter is too large for our humble newsroom. To read it all, follow the link below.

Once again, the holiday season is upon us. A brand new expansion has been released to much fanfare and the EQ2 developers are all nestled in for an extended, hard-earned winter's rest in hopes that the Gigglegibber Grump doesn't arrive to make too much trouble this year...

Wait, no. Sorry. That's fantasyland. We're still here hard at work, and it's been far too long since the last Producer's Letter.

For starters, thank you all very much for making Echoes of Faydwer our most successful expansion yet, by every means we have available to measure "success." For our part, we're thrilled that people think we did this fabled continent justice.

Since its release a month ago, Echoes has been the best-selling expansion to date. That's probably not too exciting for most people to hear, but it's also meant the most in terms of both new and returning users coming back onto the scene. That's where everyone wins. We've all seen guildies return and faces we haven't seen in a while suddenly show up to check out what all the excitement's about. And being able to spend time with old friends is very fitting for the season, on top of it. To all of you new and returning folks: Welcome! We're glad to have you.

If you have even more friends that you want to get into EQ2 with you, now's a perfect time for it with the launch of Play the Fae. Point 'em in that direction, have them make a new account, and they can be playing right beside you in Greater Faydark.

Read it all here.

Vanguard : Five New Screenshots

Posted Dec 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

The people at Sigil's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes have released five new screenshots for our consideration. They can be viewed in the gallery here.




Age of Conan : Seventeen New Screens

Posted Dec 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

Our friends over at Age of Conan have released a whopping seventeen new screenshots for our viewing pleasure. You can view all of the screens by visiting our Age of Conan gallery here.




Dark Age of Camelot : Fifth Anniversary Grab Bag

Posted Dec 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

EA Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot has released another of their weekly grab bags. Actually, it's the fifth anniversary edition. As usual, it's too lengthy t print here, but feel free to click on the link below to read it all!

Q: In the last week, I have been getting the 'Choose a Realm' menu when I log in from the server selection menu, even though I already have characters on Hibernia on the server I have logged into. At the same time, some of my 'Quick Entry' logins have stopped working. If I go to the server selection screen and then to the lobby it seems to work ok. Are these things related, and are you in the process of allowing character on all 3 realms on one account?

A: Yes. You're on the Devon cluster. I'm sorry for not posting this sooner; I genuinely didn't know you were getting this cool side effect when Akatsuki joined the family. You see, that's the deal - Akatsuki, being the only server in Japan, did not have any realm limitations. Players there always had access to all three realms, and now, so do players on Devon. You will have to log into your characters to create new Quick Entry logins. It's possible there are some bugs with Quick Entry and names in the clustering. Please appeal if you log into your characters, log out, and still don't see yourself on Quick Entry.

Q: Recently for a change I have started to play on the Gaheris server. It was nice to see how several of the similar items from one realm can be used by another realm. For example, on my Valkyrie I use a slash polearm as a 2-handed sword. Since the release of ToA, we have had various drop weapons with a bonus to all melee types. Due to this, items from one realm can work for another realm. My question is since my Midgard characters can use polearms and Alb 2-handers with no problems, why can they not use the Hibernian Large weapons

A: Some things seem to me similar on the surface, and yet behind the scenes they represent drastically different systems. From the Redheaded Stepchild: "The systems were never meant to be spread across the realms [they were designed for use in one realm], and this was the best we could do to make things match up."

Read the whole bag here.

D&D Online : Evil Resurgent

Posted Dec 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, has announced the release of a brand new update titled "Evil Resurgent". The new update gives players access to six new dungeons for their playing enjoyment.

TURBINE PRESENTS EVIL RESURGENT FOR DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: STORMREACH™

Turbine, Inc. announced today the release of the latest update for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™ (DDO), the first and only massively multiplayer online (MMO) roleplaying game based on the world-renowned DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® brand franchise from Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS). The Evil Resurgent update features six new handcrafted dungeon experiences for advanced players in the game. Turbine will offer the Evil Resurgent update free of charge for all current DDO subscribers. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is under license from the Hasbro Properties Group, the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro.

"DDO has always offered the best dungeon crawling experience and with the release of Evil Resurgent, we are continuing our aggressive push to provide new and compelling content for our fans," said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. "Evil Resurgent delivers six new dungeons that challenge players with fearsome monsters including mindflayers, a lich, ogre magi and a necromancer."

Evil Resurgent delivers six new dungeons to DDO players:

  • Parthilcar Tower Crypt - Mirra heard a noise in her basement. When she sent her brother to check it out, he discovered several mindflayers lurking in the crypt. The mindflayers have been secretly taking several members of each of the major houses of Stormreach and turning them into voidminds. The mindflayers are preparing to release their voidmind house members to take over the great houses of Stormreach from within, unless they are destroyed.
  • From Beyond the Grave - Deathshadow is long in the ground, but his evil lives on. Through dark magics and sheer force of will, the necromancer haunts the convict cemetery called Penitent's Rest, and is now summoning forth an army of the undead. With a legion of walking corpses and ethereal horrors at his command, he intends to break out from his pauper's grave and invade Delera's Graveyard, the resting place of Stormreach's prosperous and elite. The players must meet his forces head-on in a fight to the death...again!
  • Spire of Validus - The Spire of Validus was buried under the earth. The lich buried there used his magic to cause his tomb to grow like a beanstalk, causing it to burst forth and rise high into the sky. Players must journey to the top of the tower to discover that the lich has awakened, and defeat him.
  • Whisperdoom - When Splinterskull fell, Whisperdoom found herself with a very large new lair. However, a group of ogre magi came upon Whisperdoom and captured her. They have taken her to a new lair, and have begun to imbue her with magical abilities, with the hopes of creating an army of magic wielding spawn of Whisperdoom to do their bidding.
  • Haywire's Grotto - Haywire has struck a deal with a tribe of duergar: they allow him to live in their caves and provide him with materials, and he makes golems. Things were going well for Haywire, until he became convinced that he should start replacing his body parts with those of a warforged. The Marut discovered this, and Haywire is again stuck, this time inside a panic room he fortunately had built, but who knows how long he'll last against the combined might of the Marut, the golems, and the now quite upset Duergar.
  • Gate of Nightmares - Long ago when the Dal Quor invaded Xen'drik, they built many temples that were attuned to the Plane of Dreams, and served as conduits for their soldiers. The Cult of Madness has found one of these temples, and has managed to alter its attunement to be aligned with Xoriat. Several of the smaller portals have been reopened, and the central gateway is not far from becoming fully operational.

Read more on DDO here.

Gods and Heroes : Spring to Summer 2007 Launch

Posted Dec 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

Things are really in gear over at Perpetual Entertainment as Gamasutra reported on Thursday that Perpetual Entertainment was laying off 35 employees and were delaying Gods&Heroes, their upcoming MMO title.

Since the publication of the Gamasutra article, the President of Perpetual Entertainment has responded, declaring that the layoffs were necessary given the production phase of the project. Their roles have simply "come to an end".

Further to this story, it was also announced that the release date for the game has been moved until sometime between spring and summer of 2007.

As some of you may have heard we have made some staffing changes at Perpetual. We are proud to announce that we are within a month of being content complete on Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising , our upcoming AAA MMO title. As we achieve this major development milestone, a number of content production roles come to an end. The Gods & Heroes team remains over 80 talented people strong as we enter the final phase prior to launch -- play-testing and tuning to deliver the highest quality game possible. In addition, because we value the feedback our beta testers have been giving us, and because we want to ship the highest quality game possible, we have moved our target ship date from the spring to the summer of 2007. This extension of the testing and tuning phase of the project will allow us to focus entirely on making a great game - which is our #1 goal.

Read more on Gods and Heroes here.

Furcadia : 10 Years Old

Posted Dec 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

Furcadia has announced that they will be the first MMORPG to turn the ripe old age of 10 years old on Saturday.

MMORPG industry turns Ten -Furcadia Celebrates 10th Anniversary

December 15, 2006 - Furcadia, enters the record books this Saturday as the first MMO to be online for 10 years continuously. "This is a momentous occasion for online gaming" says Furcadia co-founder Dr. Cat. "Never before has any MMO been continuously available, allowing its community to grow and develop, for this length of time". Furcadia is an online social game where players can customize their own characters and interact with other players. As the longest running online game, Furcadia's anniversary marks a huge development in the possibilities of Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games. Currently, over 60,000 people play Furcadia regularly, and over 2 million characters have been created in the game over the past ten years. To celebrate this 10th anniversary, Furcadia plans to allow players to use all premium avatars (including dragons) and wings for free all day on the 16th. In addition, the founders, Dr. Cat and 'Manda, will be giving a talk on the history of the game and their careers in the gaming industry on the in-game events channel.

Furcadia began as the brainchild of founders Dr. Cat and 'Manda, who each have over 25 years in the gaming industry, from pen-and-paper roleplaying to online fantasy games. They worked on games like Ultima and Masters of Magic, moving from Commodore 64 and Nintendo Gameboy to PCs and the Internet. In 1995, they developed a visionary idea for online gaming, and launched Furcadia in December of 1996. The initial idea was to develop a game based on user created content, with more of the roleplaying and social elements instead of the usual hack and slash. "We wanted to make a game for EVERYONE, one where people would create, socialize, share, make friends, fall in love -- everything else people do in life besides beating up monsters," says Dr. Cat of Dragon's Eye Productions.

Then, in 1999, the creators moved to a then novel business model of selling premium items within a free to play game. This allows for a larger audience, with differing levels of ability (or interest) to pay, and the free players make the game more interesting for the paying customers through the content they create.

Throughout the 10-year run, Furcadia has had over two million accounts created for the game, with players from all over the world. The game is designed and engineered to run in a single world no matter how large it gets. This allows the development of a larger society with the maximum amount of interaction between players, as opposed to most other games which fragment their players into smaller, arbitrary groupings.

Additionally, easy creation tools allow players to design and publish "Dreams", allowing players to share their unique content with everyone in the game. Most areas within the game are created by players, including castles and spaceships, puzzles, quests, festivals, and re-creations of classic videogames. Future plans for the game include adding pets, moving to a new, 24-bit graphics engine, and a "spectator mode" that will permit players to view player-created "shows." A planned new component to the online economy will pay players "royalties" in-game based on how much their creations are viewed or used. "Attention is the currency of the future", according to Dr. Cat.

Furcadia's 10th anniversary celebration begins on December 15, 2006, with a homecoming day invitation for all past and current players, and the free premium avatar and wings usage is scheduled for December 16. A celebrity auction is set for the 17th, with a historical tour of player-created areas on the 18th. Volunteer (Beekins') Appreciation day is the 19th, with roleplaying day on the 20th, and a "Groups and Guilds" day set for December 21st. Other activities include special anniversary ecards and a new web forum. More information on the 10th anniversary can be found at http://www.furcadia.com/tenth/ .

Read more on Furcadia here.

Travia Online : Update Notes

Posted Dec 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

Travia Online has released the notes for their next update. If you're interested in reading it all, follow the link below.

Eventually, we will release the large_scale update to TRAVIA global service. First of all, we are really appreciative of your support despite of insufficient contents. Through this update, we will provide better game-service with complete player satisfaction. In addition, to celebrate this large-scale update, Travia will offer various events:

Details of next update

  1. It will be released the changed balance of each classes and skills
  2. It will be added several more contents to 'Elasrm'(Disputed territory): PK available(to enemy), Special items(not exist at other map) drop, Increased drop rate and Appearance of a new powerful boss
  3. New quests for beginners will be attached.
  4. We will extend new field to Travia: 'Crevata' in Britrah and 'Desair' Canyon in Deva
  5. New items addition:
    • Armor: Bloody set, Burning set, Sniper set, Miracle set (over 57lv.)
    • Weapon: classified weapons over 55lv.

Read it all here.

RF Online : Website Overhaul

Posted Dec 15, 2006 by Jon Wood

RF Online has just completed a major overhaul to their game's official website.

Extensive Player Guides (http://www.rf-onlinegame.com/guide.php) - Extensive player guides are now available for anyone new to the game. These guides go into great detail surrounding all element of RF Online including Guilds, Quests, Battle Dungeons, Chip Wars and much, much more.

Extensive FAQ (http://www.rf-onlinegame.com/faq) - Extensive 'Frequently Asked Question sheets' are now available covering issues both in, and out of the game

Novus Standard Time - A Novus Standard Time clock has now been incorporated into the site, allowing eager players the chance to schedule their game time over in game events.

Chip War Countdown - Allowing players the chance to get in on the action as it happens

Improved Navigation - Improved navigation throughout the website allowing visitors to locate screenshots / movies / wallpapers and a host of other assets, much much quicker!

See the new site here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Game/On

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com has released the December 8th edition of Game/On, our official podcast. Dana Massey sits down with pirates of the Burning Sea Producer, John Scott Tynes. The two discuss what we can expect from the game as it moves toward its launch.

This week, Dana Massey Sits down with John Scott Tynes, the Producer of the upcoming ocean-based MMORPG, Pirates of the Burning Sea.

You can listen to the show here.

General : Our Mega Holiday Giveaway!

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com is proud to unveil our most massive contest to date!  We are giving out a total of 271 prizes including a custom painted gaming PC from ibuypower.com!

We have partnered up with just about every company we would find to bring you an impressive list of prizes! We have a couple Core 2 Duo processors, an iPod Nano, a speaker system, a nVidia 7900GTX used by CCP in a competition and hundreds of game related prizes!

In addition everyone who enters will receive a $50 mail in rebate offer from ibuypower.com !

This is one contest you will not want to miss out on!  CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our great community, staff and all the companies we work with for helping MMORPG.com to become one of the greatest MMO sites online!  Here is to your happy holiday season and a great New Year!

The Matrix Online : MMORPG.com Re-Review

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Dana Massey

It's been a while, so Staff Writer Donna Desborough takes a peek back at SOE's The Matrix Online in this new re-review.

The name of the game is Matrix Online, world of amazing fights and true heroics. Where everyone can be a hero and leap from building to building in a single fluid leap, fight agents with one hand tied behind your back and look stunningly stylish while you do it. The possibilities seem limitless.

Or so you would think.

From the movies, comics and animated series, the story of the Matrix world is rich and detailed. The Matrix Online is a continuation from the end of the last movie and finally gives us, the viewer, a chance to be part of the story.

The full review is here.

World of Warcraft : Editorial: Up and Down of End Game

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Dana Massey

David Souza contribues this week's World of Warcraft editorial. Within, he talks about the ups and downs of the end game in World of Warcraft.

Have you ever played a team sport? Baseball, Basketball? How about doubles tennis? If you have, you know that personal interaction is the most crucial element of teamwork. Communication is key to keeping the relationship between you and your teammates healthy and progressive. Good communication will lead to personal and team growth. Adversely, poor communication will lead to breakdowns of functionality and conflicts of the team's collective interest.

The full editorial is here.

Age of Conan : Screenshots

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Age of Conan have released six new screenshots for our viewing pleasure. You can view all six images here.




Tantra Online : Amnesty

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

Tantra Online has announced that they are now offering an amnesty program for players who were banned "due to Param before November 24th, 2006".

All user accounts that have been banned due to Param before November 24, 2006 may submit an appeal for amnesty.

Notice: All applicants will have to top-up using a P350 Tantra Card but the Taney will be consumable, meaning you still have 350 Taney after you top-up. You only have to top-up the card in order to avail of this amnesty.

Applicants must send an e-mail to violations@tantra.com.ph and include the following details:

Username:
Server:
Date of last top-up:

All accounts that have been banned AFTER November 24, 2006 are not covered by the Amnesty Program.

For more on Tantra Online click here.

EverQuest II : Treasure Chest

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest II has released a new Treasure Chest feature. The Treasure Chest points players toward interesting posts and threads that have been made on the EQII forums.

 

Sometimes it's hard to find the buried treasures contained within the EverQuest II forums. The Treasure Chest highlights useful, insightful, or entertaining posts that you may want to check out. Get your treasure maps and shovels ready--we're about to discover a Treasure Chest!

  • EverQuest II has a bunch of talented artists. This week Akyashaa shares with us some fantastic Fan Art!
  • The Norrathian Homeshow showcases the best homes in all of Norrath. This week we feature Alectra's home that's decorated for the Holidays!
  • Kick off those old rusty boots, sit for a while by the fire, and listen to a Traveler's Tale. This weeks tale is by Astralmage who shares a tale titled "The Faydwer Chronicles".

For more on EQII click here.

Dark Age of Camelot : 1.87 Notes

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

The folks over at EA Mythic have released the notes for Test Version 1.87, tradeskill and class changes. You can read the notes in full by following the link below.

 

NEW THINGS AND BUG FIXES

  • Each realm now has a unique bind animation. The animation being used currently is a placeholder which will be replaced later in the patch cycle.

NEW FRONTIERS NOTES

  • The storms effect graphics have been optimized and the center part of the storm raised to prevent small races from hiding inside and becoming difficult to target.

Read all of the notes here.

Guild Wars : The Scribe

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

The folks over at Guild Wars have released a new issue of The Scribe. This time around, in the 26th issue, the focus is put onto the Domain of Anguish battlefront.

 

In a report from the Domain of Anguish battlefront, The Scribe offers a few inside tips on surviving, perhaps even surmounting, this Elite area. In addition, he calls out this weekend's event and gives a nod to several kind players as well. Find it all in Issue Number 26.

For more on Guild Wars click here.

General : Firefly MMORPG

Posted Dec 08, 2006 by Jon Wood

Wired News reports that the company Multiverse has acquired the rights to create a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game based on the now cancelled FOX Sci-Fi television show, Firefly. Firely, which was created by Buffy the Vampire Slayer lead-man Joss Whedon, was cancelled in 2002, but retains a fanatical following amongst fans. 

 

Like Capt. Mal Reynolds stumbling in after a bar fight, the short-lived but much beloved sci-fi series Firefly will soon make an unexpected return, not as a TV show, but as a massively multiplayer online game.

Now that's shiny.

Multiverse, maker of a free MMO-creation platform, plans to announce Friday morning that it's struck a deal with Fox Licensing to turn the show into an MMORPG in the fashion of Star Wars Galaxies or Eve Online.

The "Browncoats," as Firefly's most devoted fans are known, have been campaigning to bring the show back almost since the moment it was canceled in late 2002. Now they'll get their wish, albeit in a new form.

To read the whole Wired article click here.

Ultima Online : Interview with Aaron Cohen

Posted Dec 07, 2006 by Dana Massey

Aaron Cohen is a Producer for Ultima Online and joined us to chat about the game, it's future, what Mythic has done for them and much more. In the new year, you'll be hearing more about the expansion Kingdom Reborn (see images).

MMORPG.com: A day does not pass without a thread on our boards about "old-school UO PvP". How does PvP in Ultima Online work today?

Aaron Cohen: PvP is still very much a part of UO but it has evolved over the years and offers players several options. On almost all shards (servers) there is a land called Trammel, where there is no PvP, and a land called Felucca, where there is wide open non-consensual PvP. On Felucca, you can take part in a faction war (four sides in conflict over territory), or engage in red vs. blue fighting. Red players are murderers who attack others without provocation, while blue players tend to think of themselves as more noble and will only attack reds. There is also a full guild war system that many players take part in, with wars and alliances beginning and ending all the time.

However, for those who miss the good old days of full non-consensual PvP with no safe haven, you can play on Siege Perilous, which has a rule set similar to the original UO. This means you can kill anyone, anywhere, at any time and take their stuff. That style of gameplay isn't for everyone, but for some of our most dedicated players, it's the only way to play.

The full interview is here.

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