Rand Miller, CEO of Cyan Worlds, talks to us about how URU Live was reborn. Originally developed a few years ago, the online portion of this Myst sequel was canceled by UBISoft before it ever got off the ground. Recently, Miller and his company announced a partnership with Turner and GameTap to bring it back.
In addition to our interview, we just re-added URU Live to our game list. To hype it click here.
| MMORPG.com: What are your plans for a launch date? Will there be a beta?
Rand Miller: All we know now is that we will launch during the 2006 holiday season, and there will be a beta.
MMORPG.com: Can you give us some history on the D’ni civilization and how they will play a part in the game?
Rand Miller: The D'ni arrived at earth 10,000 years ago and set up shop deep underground. It was their contact with a woman from the surface that altered their history and destroyed their civilization. That woman was the grandmother of Atrus - the main character in the Myst series. Atrus learned from the D'ni and his entire family was affected. Now the D'ni are gone, but their grand underground city remains - haunted with the legacy of their power and their destruction - and ready to be rediscovered.
The full interview is available here.
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Winter's Twilight has announced that they have added new pages to their official website that tell us a little something about Aldhaven, Halldor and Tuathal:
Expand your knowledge of Atlenas by reading the separate pages for Aldhaven, Halldor and Tuathal. Within each is the low down on each major racial city / town along with concept visualisations of how they will appear in-game.
Click on the concept drawings for an enlarged view of the many places you will soon be experiencing!
For more on Winter's Twilight, click here.
What's going on this week over at Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach? Only one way to find out! They've updated their Weekly Development Activities for our reading pleasure:
Check out the latest updates to the "Weekly Development Activities." The goal for this feature is to give solid expectations on what you can expect to see in future updates.
Read the Weekly Development Activities, here.
Blizzard has announced that they will be opening realm-to-realm character transfers from certain PvP realms, to Cho'gall and Korgath, starting today, june 12th, at 3am PDT:
We will be opening realm-to-realm character transfers from select PvP realms to Cho'gall and Korgath on Monday, June 12 at 3:00 AM PDT. The destination realms currently have lower population than the chosen transfer realms, and should make a good home for those seeking to build a name for themselves on Azeroth.
PvP realm Cho'gall - Deadline: Thursday, June 15 at 3:00 PM PDT
Bleeding Hollow > Cho'gall
PvP realm Korgath - Deadline: Thursday, June 15 at 3:00 PM PDT
Shattered Hand > Korgath
The transfers are scheduled to close at 3:00 PM PDT on June 15. However, we urge any players who wish to transfer to do so at their earliest possible convenience, as transfers may be closed earlier than expected depending on volume. Please note that standard character creation will be disabled on the two destination realms until the transfer process has completed.
Also, as a reminder, our normal schedule for conducting character transfers between eligible realms is from 3:00 AM PDT to 3:00 PM PDT, Monday through Friday. That schedule will be in effect for as long as this upcoming transfer period remains active.
If you're interested in transferring your characters from the realms listed above to the new realms, please click here.
For more on WoW, click here.
The Daedalus Project, an online survey study of MMORPG players, has released some exciting and interesting new results. Did you know that 24% of players have role-played a scene or event with a group of at least 10 players? Did you know that 50% of female players and 22% of male players have developed romantic feelings for another player?
Check it out:
The Daedalus Project (http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus) is an ongoing online survey study of MMORPG players that has surveyed over 35,000 players. Some highlights of the current issue's findings:
The folks over at the new MMORPG, Deicide Online, have annoucned that they will be starting their open-beta test on June 15th:
Deicide open-beta !!
Decide Online team has announced that their game will start open-beta test on June 15th. Deicide Online is a full 3D MMORPG published by Ongameport company with life time free servicing policy.
Deicide Online's final game testing work is almost finished, Ongameport administration team has mentioned that "Actual date of our open-beta test hasn't been decided since there should be proper testing done for more stablized game service, even though most of our game contents are in ready postion." Therefore, it can possible to postpone their open-beta for few days, there will be solid schedule notified soon.
Deicide Online team has various fun contents prepared such as extra EXP events, and your game playing datas will continue to be activated after their actual service starts.
Deicide Online has various game contents such many character classes, skills, and seize warfare based on their seize warfare motive with full 3D MMORPG system. They also have many attractive contents being made on their official website since Ongameport's main merit is to satisfy users with their solid website service as well as their fun games.
At Deicide Online's official website, they already have decent game community system with guilds and fansite system. Let's check out their website, and experience Deicide before the open-beta test.
Visit the game's oficial website, here.
A3 has announced that, as of 00:00 hours on Firday, June 9th, the game and VitalSign, the company responsible for it, have ceased operations.
|Dearest A3 and VitalSign Gamers, This notice serve to inform that with effect from, 9th June 2006, 0000 HRS, all A3 and VitalSign operations have ceased without further notice. Thank you for your support|
We wish the players and dev team all the best in the future.
It's back. Jon Wood's epic work of original fantasy fiction resumes a bi-weekly release schedule this week with Chapter Seven of "Neverdie". You can read the previous installments linked in the header of this issue.
|It was Rowan who woke first, not sure what had startled her out of a fitful slumber. She had been dreaming, she knew that much, but her still-fuzzy mind was unable to bring up the images that she had seen. Giving up on trying to find the un-remembered dream, she turned her attentions outward, to her surroundings. The forest in which she slept was still cloaked in darkness, but her keen even eyesight told her that dawn was not but a few hours off. The same eyesight was able to spot her recent companion, laying a few feet away. She could see his rhythmic breathing through his bedroll. Sighing lightly, she resigned herself to wakefulness and instead lay watching the valiant Knight of Rah as he slept. Wondering how she had come to be in this place, at this time. It all still seemed so unreal to her. Somewhere in the distance, a dog barked furiously. “Hunters,” she thought, “Humans make use of dogs to hunt their prey.”|
You can read more here.
Net Devil and NCSoft have announced that the new Auto Assault Public Test Server is now live so that players can check out the upcoming upgrade:
The Auto Assault Public Test Server (PTS) is now live for players to check out the upcoming upgrade. All information about the PTS is available in this news post. We have a dedicated forum section for the PTS, and you will be able to get the PTS installer from ftp.autoassault.com/client/PTS Client.
For more on AA, click here.
Pirates of the Burning Sea have released a new Dev Log. This one answers the question "Are they ever going to announce a ship date?". The answer, is yes, but not today. Click the link below to read the whole log.
Are they ever going to announce a ship date?
In a word, yes. But don’t go scanning to the bottom of this log, because it’s not in here.
As we’ve noted a few times on the forums, we’ve been working on the schedule to release. Usually on a game this is a tough period, in that you have to make some painful cuts to get ready for release. In our case, it’s been exhilarating. We’ve cut some things here and there, true, but most of them are behind-the-scenes things you’d never see, or things we still intend to do after we launch (such as my supercool Officers system – sob!!). What’s exhilarating is that we have a specific date that we’re confident in. To give you an idea of where this confidence comes from, half of every milestone is reserved for bug fixing and general polish, so we’re not exactly cramming in features to the last second. Also, we’ve had very good feedback from beta, and while we’ve got a lot of improvements planned, we know we’re on a good course.
So why not announce it now? It’s because we’re announcing a month, not a quarter or a season. And a month is pretty specific. We have some items in the schedule that we think will fit, but have the potential to balloon up in size. Work is starting on them in the next milestone, and once we’re confident that they’re under control, we’ll announce the ship date.
Read it all, here.
Back at hte beginning of May, it was announced that Keith Baker, the man behind the Eberron Campaign setting, would be tapped to write a story for Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. Today, Turbine published the first chapter of that story:
Keith Baker has written a story exclusively for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™. Here is the first exciting chapter in: Shadows of Stormreach.
Read the story, here.
Blizzard's World of WarCraft has released a new WarCraft Weekly, that can be found, here. They have also announced the banning of over 30,000 cheating accounts in the month of May:
We will continue to aggressively monitor all World of Warcraft realms in order to protect the service and its players from the harmful effects of cheating. Please note that selling World of Warcraft content, such as gold, items, and characters, can result in a permanent ban of the involved accounts from World of Warcraft.
Thank you for your continued support, and good luck with your adventures in Azeroth!
For more WoW, click here.
As usual, it's the weekend, and there's a brand new Grab Bag over at Dark Age of Camelot's Camelot Herald. Also following tradition, we have presented a small sampling of the grab bag, and you can read the whole thing by visiting the link below:
There's a bit in there that says "as we proposed it." It's sort of a key clause. Thanks in advance.
Q: How many people voted "I don't see my choice" on the poll?
A: 8%. That 8% seems, based on feedback forms, to be split between people who did not want a third line at all and people who want a third line, but not the one that we listed.
Reports that there was a vast and teeming multitude that didn't want a third line at all appear to be based mainly on message boards, not on the player base as a whole. That's why we gather feedback in many different ways as opposed to message boards where the participants don't even need to be players.
Had the poll been about something entirely new to the game, we'd have given the boards more weight - entirely new features are usually meant to entice people to return or to get new people to sign up. But the third line feature was meant for active, existing customers, so we focused on TL feedback, the poll, and feedback forms from active customers.
What the poll said, without a doubt, was that the system as we proposed it was not going to be a big or even a moderate hit. Back to the ol' drawing board.
Q: (Insert question here about "too steep to climb" areas in Cathal Valley, the new high level BG)
A: This came to me from the Rolling Stone, who is in charge of maps and zone work: "A little further clarification with regards to the 'too steep to climb' in the new Battleground, Cathal Valley. The 'too steep to climb' code is not prominent on every hill in the zone. It is only within the center section, aptly named Cathal Valley. Viewing the center layout, we hope you will enjoy the necessary tactics involved when dealing against members of the opposing realm in this area."
We plan to have a Cathal Valley Pendragon event on Saturday, June 17th. I hope you can all come out and get the experience you need to give us good feedback on the new BG.
Read it all, here.
Savage Eden, an MMORPG put out by E I Interactive, has announced that they have introduced a new gameplaay server called "Foretold Strife" that will be placed into service on June 1st.
BUTTE, MT - (June 9, 2006) - E I Interactive, publisher of Savage Eden, has introduced a newly enhanced gameplay server for its subscribers. The new server, entitled "Foretold Strife," was placed into service on June 1, 2006, and has experienced broad acceptance and extensive gameplay by existing and new subscribers of the popular fantasy MMORPG.
“This new server world is exciting to me as a gamer because we’re all newbies, starting out at level one, whether we are 3-year veterans or trial subscribers,” said Edward C. Andercheck, Chairman of E I Interactive. “This server storyline addition keeps the game young and exciting, with tougher monsters and better rewards. I am hopeful that it demonstrates our commitment to providing good gameplay and quality in-game management within the products we offer to gamers,”
“The development of the new story line and “Foretold Strife” server was done entirely by E I Interactive personnel,” commented Dr. Raymond Rask, E I President and CTO, “these offerings are exclusive to North American subscribers and unavailable from any other licensee. Zack Horne, the E I Executive Game Manager, and our in-game management team did a great job on this development. We are all proud of the outcome and the acceptance by the gaming community. Since we became publisher of Nako Interactive's Savage Eden Game in October 2005, we’ve increased player subscriptions by nearly 500 percent.”
E I Interactive (E I Communications Corp.) is an established publisher of online content, including MMORPGames, casual games, web based game portals, including a casual game portal, and game review and information sites. E I acquires publishing rights and is aggressively working to complete its portals stable of six MMORPG properties. Bringing quality content to the market, managing it well, and promoting it effectively are the three essential cornerstones of the E I business strategy.
For more on Savage Eden, click here.
MMORPG.com's RSS 2.0 syndicated news feed is online for everyone to use. It is yet another way we hope to keep you informed of the latest goings on in the MMORPG space. Individual users can add it to their web browser's news reader.
If you have any questions about this restored feature, feel free to let us know in the comment thread.
Next week, Garrett Fuller and Jon Wood return to discuss all things MMORPG.com
You can hear the podcast at this link. It is available directly on the page, direct download as an mp3, RSS feed, iTunes, iPodder, or PodcastPickle.com.
Check back this Friday for our full monthly show.
Matt Higby, the Design Supervisor for The Fallen Dynasty adventure pack, talks to our own Carolyn Koh about the soon to launch miniature add-on to SOE's EverQuest II.
| MMORPG.com: How are you working the EQ2 lore and the Adventure Packs? Do you have a dedicated writer or a framework laid out to ensure some continuity?
Matt Higby: Usually the first step for us in developing any adventure or expansion pack is to get all of the designers who will be working on lore; quests, dialog and character history into a meeting room and define exactly what we want to do with that particular plot line. For the AP it was no different, we always start out with a basic idea of what story we want to tell, and then we refine it and figure out all the intricacies and details down to the quests and character level.
Our primary goal though, is coming up with a story that can be self-contained, tells something that affects the rest of the game, and fits in with existing lore. For The Fallen Dynasty we knew we wanted to tell a story that would bridge the gap between EverQuest II Live and our upcoming expansion pack, Echoes of Faydwer. The events that unfold in TFD will become increasingly important in the months leading up to Echoes.
You can read more here.
The Saga of Ryzom is updating their website, and are giving their players the ability to post news of their own to let other players know just what's going on. The official website also presented some info about characters' names and multishard architecture. you can read that, here.
Tips: How to post a news?
With the new Ryzom site come a few new features. One of these is the ability to post your own news on the homepage. This way you can inform other players about a planned event, show your last Ryzom creations, present a new tutorial etc. and benefit from a larger audience than on the boards. I'll explain here how to post a news. :)
Be sure to enter a valid e-mail in your preferences if you want to allow logged users to contact you directly from your author's page.
For more on The Saga of Ryzom, click here.