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Lord of the Rings Online : Race of Dwarves Movie

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by Ben Krueger

Codemasters has released a new movie featuring the Dwarven Race in this upcoming MMO.

Race of Dwarves
Overview of the Dwarves in LOTRO using in game footage.

You can view all of the videos here

Age of Conan : Field of the Dead Movie

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by Ben Krueger

Funcom has released a new video for Age of Conan. The amazing terrain in this upcoming MMO is really shown off in this movie!

Field of the Dead Fly Through
Fly through of the Field of the Dead. The landscape in this area is mind blowing!

You can view all of the videos here

General : Albatross18 nVidia 8800 Giveaway!

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com has teamed up with OGPlanet to bring you an exlcusive new contest for the month of February! From now until March 1, 2007 you can enter to win a nVidia 8800GTX graphics adapter! We also have 15 runner up prizes consisting of five $25 Albatross18 "cookies" and ten $10 "cookies" (in game currency).

To enter the contest click here!

About Albatross18

Multiplayer. Online. Golf. Like you've never seen it. Set in the beautiful backdrop of a fantasy world where reality stops and magic abounds, Albatross18: Realms of Pangya presents a unique experience to the game of golf - mixing elements of classic golf play with the popularity of fantasy role-playing games. Featuring upgradeable avatars with special items and magic potions, real-time multiplayer tournaments, and a sophisticated physics engine that accurately governs the realistic golf play, Albatross18 provides one of the most unique and exciting online gaming experiences. Oh, and it's free! For more information about Albatross18, visit the official website here!

Voyage Century Online : nVidia EN7600GS Giveaway!

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com is proud to present another new and exciting contest for our members. From now until Feb 28 we will be taking entries into our Voyage Century contest...where you have a chance to win a nVidia EN7600GS video card or one of (10) 500 pt game cards for Voyage Century!

As with all of our contests, the more days that you login to MMORPG.com the better your odds of winning are (see official rules for details).

When you are ready to enter, CLICK HERE!

Lineage 2 : FBI Shuts Down Lineage II Private Server

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports on the recent shutdown of a Lineage II private server.

It must have seemed like the perfect scheme--buy the stolen source code of a popular online game, rent some servers to run the game as your own, and then hang a shingle on the web inviting gamers to come play at a steep discount.

A California man who followed that path must have thought he'd never get caught. He was even warned once by the game's rightful owner, a large South Korean company, to shut down. He didn't.

"They don't think that a company is going to come after them at any point," says Christopher Thompson, a special agent on a cyber squad in the FBI's office in Austin, Texas. "He said he was going to stop doing it and he didn't."

So the company, which has offices in Austin, called the FBI. The suspect was apparently lining his own pockets from "donations" and ads on his site while his pirated version of the game, "Lineage II," was siphoning $750,000 a month in potential revenues from the company.

According to Agent Thompson, here's how the scheme evolved:

In 2003, a computer user in China obtained the "Lineage" source code from an unprotected website. The proprietary code was then placed on the underground market, where a Texas man, among others, bought it in 2004. He then passed it along to his business partner in California, who set up a website, www.l2extreme.com, to offer the "Lineage" game at a discount. Gamers arrived in droves--as many as 50,000 active users by 2006--which pinched the legitimate game's bottom line.

"It's comparable to the music-downloading and file-sharing problem in the late '90s--thousands of people engaging in activity that is inherently illegal," Agent Thompson said.

The California man soon assumed full control of the site and ramped up operations. In late 2005, just months after promising to shut down the site, he rented more powerful servers--enough to accommodate 4,000 simultaneous gamers. He solicited donations from users to help defray the costs and collected more than $25,000 in less than two days.

"Even if game sites collect no money, they still operate in violation of copyright laws," Agent Thompson said. "But he just got greedy because the money was there." Indeed, online gaming is estimated to be a $1 billion industry and growing. And massive, multi-player online games (MMOGs in the gamers' parlance) are one of the leading categories.

Last November, Agent Thompson led a raid on the California man's home, shut down the game, seized the l2extreme domain, and posted the FBI anti-piracy warning on the site. Meanwhile, the company posted a press release on its website announcing the raid. "We've taken this action because we strongly believe in defending the intellectual property rights that we've worked so hard to create," the company said in the release.

The result: several other servers running pirated games "ran for the hills," Agent Thompson said. There are others, to be sure, but the case serves as a reminder that stealing intellectual property is a criminal offense. As our warning clearly states, " Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000."

Read more here.

Read more about Lineage II here.

Age of Conan : Unveils Druid of the Storm Class

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by

Age of Conan gives us an in depth look at the Druid of the Storm class.

This week we take a deeper look into another of the classes available in Age of Conan - The Druid of the Storm.

Primal and resourceful, these priests of the shamanistic arts are masters of the world around them, at one with nature.

Their understanding of the world around them also means that they have an almost endless knowledge of natural healing remedies that can keep their allies standing in battle. Not just a healer they can utilise ancient arts, runes and charms passed down by their forefathers to protect and keep allies safe from harm.

While obviously adept at protecting their allies makes them respected travelling companions, these Druids are actually more feared for what they can call forth from nature.

Masterfully in touch with the elements themselves, the Druid of the Storm can control and call upon the power of weather to hinder and attack their foes, calling down lightning and creating storms.

They can use the power of wind to throw their enemies back, and harness the raw energy of lightning to burn their foes, or call forth the bitter winds of winter to bite their opponents with the extreme cold that only nature can summon forth.

As an example their defining ability at level 80 is called 'Eye of the Storm' and calls forth a great hurricane down upon the Druid themselves that acts as natural shield, a wall of wind that not only keeps attackers at bay but charges the air around the caster with such electrical energy that it can augment the Druids lightning spells.

'Eye of the Strom' thus grants the Druid vastly improved defence against ranged attacks but has the down side that it is almost impossible to move. It increases electrical magic damage and the radius of effect for their lightning based spells. Enemies attacking the caster have a chance of being knocked back while the druids themselves become immune to most knockback effects.

Far from being 'just a healer' these Shaman are powerful and dangerous foes to cross on the battlefield.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : Burning Crusade Direct Download Now Up

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by

World of Warcraft makes The Burning Crusade available for direct download.

You can now buy account upgrade keys and download the game client for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade directly through the account management section of www.worldofwarcraft.com. With this new direct online upgrade method, you don't even need to leave your desk if you decide to upgrade to The Burning Crusade and join more than two million players who are already adventuring beyond the Dark Portal.

All you need to do is:

1. Login to Account Management

2. Click the Burning Crusade "Download Now" button

3. Enter your credit card information

4. Follow the link to download the Burning Crusade game client

That's it! If you haven't upgraded your account yet, now's your chance to take your World of Warcraft experience to the next level - whenever you want, and absolutely hassle-free.

Read more here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Exclusive Screens: Week #31

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

After a breif hiatus, our weekly Pirates of the Burning Sea screenshot feature makes its return with three brand new images from Flying Lab Software.

For more on PotBS click here.

General : Casual Play: This Notion of Work

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

This week, in a special Friday edition of Casual Play, Steve Wilson tells us about the Casual Gamer's perception of MMORPGs as work.

Count me among the millions of casual gamers that play MMOs to relax, this notion that the game must be work seems completely absurd.

This notion of work is the often-repeated mantra that implies that casual players want only the easiest content that requires the least amount of pain and effort to enjoy. To which many of us say, "Well, duh." We're here after all to enjoy ourselves, to temporarily escape from those real grinds known as jobs, expenses, and the crushing weight of a thousand dreary mundane tasks. We want to feel heroic and be able to do it in thirty minutes to an hour. We don't need a game like Star Wars Galaxies to give us yet another rent bill to pay. Or mandatory guild raids that turn our favorite game into a literal second job. We're here only for the fun.

Read the whole column here.

Dreamlords: Resurrection : Interview With Jon Selin

Posted Feb 02, 2007 by Jon Wood

Carolyn Koh had the chance to talk to Dreamlords Lead Designer Jon Selin about the upcoming MMORPG.

MMORPG.com:

Hello Jon, it's been a while since we talked to you last in October of 2006, and prior to that, it was E3. Tell us what you've accomplished in the "in-between" time and if there have been any more "massive" changes.

Jon Selin:

As always it has been extremely hectic over here, but that's the way we like it. The last months we have focused mostly on tweaks and bug fixes but we have managed to sneak in a few major things as well. For example we have implemented a more interesting PvP system. Rather than just choosing to fight someone there are now several battle-maps with territories that the players can claim and wage war over. The designers have been hard at work with the content, recently we have been focusing on the storyline and expanding the role and choices surround the player's avatar, the Dreamlord. At this phase of development a lot of our focus is mostly on balancing and tweaking rather than dreaming up new features. Oh yeah, we also updated our engine so the artists are hard at work squeezing out what they can from it. I don't know exactly what it means but from all their talk about changing the materials and new lightning it's got to be good.

You can read the whole interview here.

Knight Online : Accounts Penalized for Exploits

Posted Feb 01, 2007 by

Knight Online penalized accounts for exploits.

In efforts to provide a better gaming experience to all players, your Knight Online team has penalized 3469 accounts identified in our databases to have been exploiting the recent quest bug. Players that have abused this bug received an experience point double penalty. This penalty is based on their total experience earned and how many times the bug was abused. An example of this is if a level 70 player used this bug to level to 75, that would result in the player being de-leveled to 65.

Remember that any exploitation of discovered bugs can be punishable up to account termination.

As always, we thank the vast majority of players in the Knight Online World who are playing the game fairly and we look forward to seeing you in-game!

Read more about Knight Online World here.

Star Wars Galaxies : Chapter 5 Sneak Peak at Holo-Bands

Posted Feb 01, 2007 by

Star Wars Galaxies gives us a look at the Holo-Bands feature coming in Chapter 5.

We have another sneak preview of some of the great things coming your way in Chapter 5: Holo-bands!

Holo-bands give entertainers a new way to have fun in the game by spawning their own band members. With this entertainer expertise ability, dancers can choreograph new dance routines using their holographic dance group and musicians can create a well rounded band comprised of a variety of different instruments allowing for a more robust sound - but all under one player's control.

Bottom line: Spontaneous fun that allows Entertainer's to do what they love most - entertain others in-game!

Read more here.

Guild Wars : The Scribe No. 32 Released

Posted Feb 01, 2007 by

Guild Wars releases Issue No. 32 of The Scribe update.

Our wandering writer happened upon two connected events that involved a special opportunity to share the joy of Wintersday, and he writes about them in this week's news scroll. He also details an upcoming test event for Heroes' Ascent and proffers far more than his customary list of notable citizens of Tyria, Cantha, and Elona.

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : PvP Rewards Announced

Posted Feb 01, 2007 by

World of Warcraft announces new PvP Honor System Rewards.

We have just published three pages listing the new PvP Honor System rewards you can now purchase in your faction's barracks. Alliance characters need to seek out the Champions' Hall in Stormwind's Old Town district, while members of the Horde should head to the Hall of Legends in Orgrimmar.

General Honor Rewards

Level 70 Armor Honor Rewards (Rare)

Level 70 Armor Honor Rewards (Epic)

Level 60 and 70 Weapons Honor Rewards

Read more here.

General : Community Spotlight Players vs. Devs

Posted Feb 01, 2007 by

Laura Genender returns with another Community Spotlight. This one looks at the crossfire between Players vs. Devs.

MMO players are always complaining that devs aren't giving us what we want. "You're releasing too early!"; "You said the game would be out a month ago!"; "Too difficult!"; "Too easy!"; "It's overwhelming!"; "There isn't enough to do!"

Of course, the focus lately has been on the recently released Vanguard, though this has always been a debate for players and developers of MMORPGs. For players, the perfect video game would be one where we could invest as much time as we would like and keep current with content, yet still be competitive. It would have no subscription fee, the best graphics, frequent updates, free expansions, character customization, no lag, lots of space but it wouldn't feel empty (i.e. population would be spread out). You could progress via large-scale wars, raid content, group content, solo content, crafting, and all this with a perfectly crafted weather and season system, and NPC AI.

Read the entire article here.

Pirates of the Carribean Online : Disney Announces Game Launch Details

Posted Jan 31, 2007 by

Disney announces launch details of Pirates of the Caribbean Online.

Disney Online today announced details surrounding the launch of Pirates of the Caribbean Online, the highly anticipated massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the popular film franchise. Scheduled to launch in spring 2007, Pirates of the Caribbean Online will allow players to set sail on their own adventure and interact with Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann and other characters made popular in the movie franchise, as they embark on exciting quests in search of treasure and their own notoriety. At launch, Disney Online will offer two options for Pirates of the Caribbean Online players - "Basic Access," a free, ad-supported section of the game that lets players jump right into the action, or "Unlimited Access" that provides access to the full game as well as premium features.

"The tremendous popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise creates an exciting opportunity for our game," said Paul Yanover, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Disney Online. "We feel our approach to the business model for Pirates of the Caribbean Online will attract and engage a broad base of players, encompassing both fans of the franchise and MMO gamers." With Basic Access, all players can experience many of the game's compelling features. In addition, it allows advertising partners to associate with the brand through online ads and other interactive ad features that will not interfere with the gameplay experience. For a monthly subscription fee of $9.95, players will have unlimited access to all game content, advertising free. Unlimited Access will unlock features previously limited with Basic Access, allowing players to experience the game's full range of customization, game play and community interaction.

With Pirates of the Caribbean Online fans of the franchise will get to experience the swashbuckling action found in the films right on their computer. Players create and customize their own pirate, build and outfit their own ship, assemble a crew and embark on quests for adventure and treasure in an effort to become the Caribbean's most legendary pirate. Along the way, they will interact with characters made popular by the movies such as Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann and Jack Sparrow as they forge alliances with other players, hunt for buried treasure, battle evil undead forces, and face off against enemies on land and sea.

Pirates of the Caribbean Online, developed and published by Disney Online, is being produced to appeal to a broad audience ranging from teens to adults. The games website, www.PiratesOnline.com, includes additional information and in-game assets including screenshots and webisodes.

Read more about Pirates of the Caribbean Online here.

Warhammer Online : Chaos Marauder Class Announced

Posted Jan 31, 2007 by

Warhammer: Age of Reckoning January Newsletter has been released and gives us the first look at the Chaos Marauder. There are also character class updates, a look at the Norsca Zone, more Beasts of War, and tons of other updates. The following are some parts of the January Newsletter. The first quote comes from Paul Barnett describing the Chaos Marauder. The second piece is a look at the Chaos zone Norsca. To sign up for the Warhammer Online Newsletter click here.

"He's a great big Viking who's gone bad! a crab-clawed hulk! They are dead good! Marauders rock!"

In the eyes of most citizens of the Empire, Norsca is a wild and untamed land, full of dangerous creatures both natural and unnatural. Perhaps this is true in the deep north, but along its southern borders where Norsca joins with the northernmost provinces of Kislev, a civilizing influence has taken hold. Here, brave adventurers and resourceful frontiersmen who don?t feel at home in the cities and towns of the south cross the border into Norsca to find their fortune. For all the settling influence of civilization however, the dangers for which the land is known are quite real. In the northern reaches, barbarian tribes and followers of Chaos are numerous, and their raids frequently strike deep into the southern regions of Norsca. The residents of the villages here sometimes forge pacts with these tribes, intermingling and opening themselves to the influence of the Dark Powers through their alliances. Thus, even the most civilized of Norse are not to be trusted by righteous men. The greatest dangers of Norsca are less commonplace by far, for this is the staging ground of Chaos.

Read more about Warhammer Online here.

Lord of the Rings Online : New Beta Journal Views Past Adventures

Posted Jan 31, 2007 by

Lord of The Rings Online Beta Journal looks at the adventures players have had in Middle Earth.

For today's Beta Journal, we asked our Beta Program participants to talk about a memorable adventure they'd had during the course of their travels in LOTRO.

Our journey began in the Lone-lands. Two champions, two hunters, and two minstrels (myself one of the latter) gathered in Ost Guruth, determined to make our way deep into Garth Agarwen and destroy the evil festering there. We shared several quests from across the Lone-Lands and Bree-Land, for the occupants of Garth Agarwen - the hillmen of Rhudaur and the cursed shades of Arthedain - had made numerous enemies in their service of the Red-maid.

Leaving Ost Guruth we traveled east, entering the Haragrim swamp and then turning north. From there, we fought our way through the corrupted forest of Agamaur. More difficult foes presented themselves as we approached the outer gates of Garth Agarwen, but we pressed onward, determined to complete our quests...

Our group wasn't well balanced, or typical, so planning and executing each encounter was rather interesting - and the results entertaining. Our hunters laid traps to take an enemy or two out of commission and then let loose with a rain of arrows. Ducking behind the nearest cover, they lured the enemies towards our fellowship. Unleashing furious attacks, the champions then took over. The minstrels had very different traits slotted, so one focused on healing (with improved casting times and power costs) while the other concentrated on enhancing the group's abilities (with improved buff effects and durations).

The inside of Garth Agarwen is a maze of ruins, overgrown with foreboding red trees and scattered with foul pools of water. Most of the enemies were severely challenging for adventurers of our experience, so our fellowship made its way slowly and carefully deeper into the ruins. We fought groups of hillmen, and slogged through pools haunted by gloom-waters. Eventually we found ourselves within an eerie glade. Our fellowship had been told of this place, where a great tree named Oakenbark had fallen to corruption. Now named Grimbark, he stood between us and our goal.

Our champions charged the great tree while the hunters eliminated the roots that sprung forth to hinder us. The battle went on, both champions constantly being swatted by Grimbark's branches, and everyone else suffering from surprise attacks by roots. Low on power only a third of the way through the battle, we appeared to be in trouble, until a lucky strike opened a conjunction for our group.

"Choose blue!" everyone yelled simultaneously, and moments later (thanks to some luck and quick thinking) everyone's power was completely restored. We fought on even harder now. But two-thirds of the way into the fight, Grimbark shook his branches and dropped beehives directly onto our fellowship. The angry bees made a beeline for both minstrels. A horde of angry bees can be quite demoralizing, especially on the receiving end, and without support the rest of the fellowship soon succumbed to Grimbark. But despite the dread of this defeat, our fellowship swore to return another day and finish what we had started.

Read more here.

EverQuest II : Inside Look at Patch Day

Posted Jan 31, 2007 by

Everquest II gives its community a look at what goes on behind the scenes during a patch day.

As the shadow of 'Patch Day' looms heavily over the EverQuest II community, I thought it would be interesting to share a peek into the flurry of behind the scenes activity that takes place when we patch the game. It's sometimes difficult to remember that there are people working at a frantic pace to ensure that a patch goes well, especially when you are staring at the launchers progress meter; so I solicited comments from people involved in a game update from the beginning to the end to give a bit of insight on how the day goes for them.

Read more about the Everquest II Patch Day here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : Dev Log Features Avatar Update

Posted Jan 31, 2007 by

Pirates of the Burning Sea's latest Dev Log gives us a look at the avatar upgardes that have been added to the game.

Avatars are a big topic for us these days. A few months back we took a look at the state of the art in our game and realized something interesting: we were getting a lot better at what we were doing. The environments, lighting, ships, animation and overall vision of the world evolved dramatically over time. But we hadn't revisited our characters and as the rest of the game's look advanced, they became more and more noticeably out of place. We decided we needed to take a new approach to the avatars that would better fit with all the great work we were doing in the rest of the game.

Read more about the new Avatars for Pirates of the Burning Sea here.

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