WEBZEN PREVIEWS NEW ONLINE GAMES FOR PRINCE ANDREW, THE BRITISH COUNCIL
SEOUL – Nov. 18, 2005 – At a business development event sponsored by the British Council, global online games company Webzen, Inc. delivered a presentation on Korea’s burgeoning games industry and showcased some of the company’s upcoming online games to Prince Andrew and other British dignitaries. Earlier this year, Webzen, Inc. was awarded the worldwide publishing rights for the upcoming urban action massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) All Points Bulletin (APB) from British game developer Real Time Worlds.
“The United Kingdom is the largest market for games in all of Europe,” said Nam Ju Kim, chief executive officer, Webzen, Inc. “We are seriously examining the possibility of establishing a subsidiary in Europe, and with this visit by Prince Andrew we expect there will be an even more active exchange between the two countries.”
During the event, Webzen, Inc. showcased movie clips from game titles in development, including APB and the fantasy massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPG) Soul of the Ultimate Nation and Wiki. During the event, Prince Andrew showed avid interest in the realistic graphics from Soul of the Ultimate Nation, which will soon enter open beta in Korea and launch in North America in 2006, and the technical expertise of the Korean online games.
The urban action MMOG APB is the first online game developed by David Jones, the creator of Grand Theft Auto. APB is currently being developed in the United Kingdom for PC online and Xbox 360 versions and is slated for simultaneous launch in North America, Korea and the United Kingdom in 2007.
About WEBZEN Inc.
Based in Seoul, Korea, WEBZEN Inc. has become a global leader in the MMOG market, and has developed some of the world’s top online game and client/server technologies. Already having achieved critical mass in Asian markets with publishing arms in Taiwan, China, Japan, Philippines, and Thailand, WEBZEN Inc. has established WEBZEN America, a wholly owned US subsidiary based in Los Angeles. WEBZEN America leverages WEBZEN technology and partners with some of the most well-known names in the video games industry to deliver some of the most compelling, visually stunning graphics available in persistent world games. WEBZEN and WEBZEN America are poised to launch a diverse portfolio of online products and services, beginning with the highly anticipated fantasy MMORPG Soul of the Ultimate Nation, the Unreal 3.0 engine-based MMOFPS HUXLEY and the original urban action MMOG All Points Bulletin (APB.)
For more information about WEBZEN products and services, go to www.webzengames.com.
SEED online has released some brand new screenshots for our viewing pleasure. Below, you can find 3 samples of the screenies, which depict characters talking and interacting. To see all 8 of the new screens, as well as the others in our collection of SEED screenshots, click here.
Neocron 2 has recently made some major changes to their game through the introduction of the Neocron Evolution 2.1 Upgrade. As a result, they are offering players with cancelled accounts the opportunity to re-visit the game for free for 14 days as of December 1st, 2006.
In light of the major changes the Neocron Evolution 2.1 upgrade offers, all canceled Neocron 2 accounts will receive 14 days of free playing time to check out the upgrade. Starting December 1, 2005, the release date of the upgrade, all former Neocron 2 players will have 14 days to take a look at the improvements like the graphical updates, the new weapons, the engine improvements and the new content! Of course the free 10 day trial will also be available at www.neocron.com for those who never had a chance to try the action-packed Cyberpunk MMORPG.
This measure is part of a big marketing push that includes a new banner campaign, a couple of surprises we will reveal shortly!
Also please note that banned accounts can not benefit from this offer.
For more information on Neocron 2, click here.
Oz World, the game that encourages players to be social, make friends and have romances online, has released a couple of updates to the game and the way that it runs:
For more information on OZ World, click here.
Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot has announced a new event. Dubbed "Newbie Tag the Dragons", the event requires players to creat brand-new first level characters. The goal? To get the weak first level as close as possible to the dragon before they die. The winner is the person to die closest to the great beast. If you are interested, you are going to have to get your e-mails in quickly, as registration for the event ends at 5PM EST today! The event itself will take place at 3pm EST tomorrow.
This fun little live event is the Newbie version of Tag the Dragon. The rules are very simple. Players who wish to participate need to create a new level one character in Hibernia on the Pendragon Server. Leave the character in Mag Mel. Once you have your character created you need to email me at rduffek AT mythicentertainment DOT com with the character’s name. Also include your primary server, realm and main character’s name.
Emails will be accepted from now until Friday, November the 18th at 5pm EST. At that time I will compile the list of participants. Saturday, November the 19th at 3pm EST all participants need to be logged in on their new level one characters and standing at the bind stone in Mag Mel. At 3:15pm EST I will start the race.
What’s the objective you ask? Simply get as close to the dragon as you can with your little newly created level one character. Get there by any means necessary. Horses, run, swim etc. Your objective is to get as close as you can before dying. Once you die, but before you release, send me a tell and I will come mark your location. Do not release until I have specifically told you to do so. The 5 people who get the closest to the Dragon will be declared the winners.
What do the winners receive for their efforts you ask? Well I’m glad you did, because I wish I knew as well! (Sanya here: Stickers! Have you seen those clever oval stickers with the initials of your vacation spot du jour? Choose one from ALB, MID, or HIB.)
To get the rest of the information on this event, click here.
Whether you like the changes or not, the Star Wars: Galaxies NGE has made a great number of changes to the game, and has left a number of players wondering just exactly what it is that is going on. The developers have released a FAQ section on their official website in the hopes of clearing up some of the questions that players may have about the update.
How do the nine new professions relate to the existing profession templates?
Knowing this could be a difficult transition for many of our players, we have lined-up several options to help make this as easy as possible. First, you will be allowed to choose any one of the nine professions and transition to that profession at a level commensurate with your current level. For example, if you are maxed-out at level 80, you will transition over as a level 80 character into your profession of choice. Veterans (all players having started their characters before the enhancements are introduced) will receive nine review ("re-spec") opportunities that allow them to sample the new professions before making a final decision. This gives everyone the opportunity to try out each of the new professions at least once at their current skill level. In the event you are unhappy with your choice of profession, you can "re-spec" and try out one of the others until you find the one you like best or until you are at your final opportunity.
**IMPORTANT** Note that there are a total of ten (10) re-spec charges (opportunities), but one is "used-up" on the initial transition, so players will then have nine charges left after choosing their initial iconic profession.
How do the iconic profession paths work?
As part of the transition process you will receive 9 options to try out the nine different new professions. There is also an in-game video that highlights each of the special skills and abilities of the selected professions (also available on our web site in the new player section).
Once you have decided on a profession, simply select it and re-allocate/"re-spec" your existing skill points (for current players) within your new chosen profession. From there, you can begin taking quests and earning experience (XP), you can then use to purchase the next skill on your path.
In the event you aren't happy with your chosen profession, don't worry - you can "re-spec" your existing skill points up to nine times, excluding your initial chosen profession.
To have a look at the whole FAQ, click here.
Shadowbane, a game known for its PvP content, has announced plans to implement a large addition to the PvP experience in their game. After the December Content Patch, players will be able to gain experience from their PvP exploits:
Shadowbane is considered by many to be the premiere Player-versus-Player (PvP) massively multiplayer online game (MMOG). In the December Content Patch, we will be implementing a feature that many have been asking for since they first heard of Shadowbane: Experience gains granted from Player-vs.-Player combat!
Players who engage in combat with others and succeed may be granted experience. Note the word “may”. There are some stipulations that must be met before such rewards are granted. First and foremost, players under Rank 4 (Level 40) neither grant nor gain experience from PvP; this is considered an elder game system only. Worry not, though, that isn’t the only rule.
When you kill someone, a variety of checks are done. Aside from the level checks, the system ensures that the player who was killed is not in the same nation or guild as the player who could potentially be rewarded. Then they will check to make sure that the player is not Errant; an Errant is a player who has not nation nor guild affiliation. While killing an errant character may award experience, errant players themselves gain none from PvP. Wait, there is more!
Next the system checks to verify if the character killed had a Deathshroud effect prior to being killed. If so, no experience gains are granted. Finally, it will see if the player being potentially rewarded has been granted experience in the last hour for the same individual. If so, again, no experience will be rewarded. This will not add on to that timer, though.
To read the rest of this announcement, click here.
The makers of Irth Online have released some Update Notes. The brand new game has made some changes and tweaks that players may find interesting.
Irth Online 1.007 Additional Changes Latest Updates Please see the irthonline.com forums for more details.
[LAST UPDATE November 16, 2005]
For more on Irth Online, click here.
MMORPG.com is proud to announce that we have partnered with GMX Media to bring you another new and cool contest offer!
From now until Dec 17, 2005 members of MMORPG.com can enter to win 1 of 10 copies of Battleground Europe - the only WWII MMORPG in existence!
As with all of our contests, the more days you login to MMORPG.com - the better your chances of winning a prize! (see contest rules for details).
Don't wait any longer, click here to enter now!
Busy times over at Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot. Today, they have made some release notes available to us. The notes themselves are fairly lengthy, with lots of changes, bug fixes, and the like. The expansion, "Trials of Atlantis" gets special attention this time around:
NEW THINGS AND BUG FIXES
To read all of Release Notes: 1.81b, click here.
Auto Assault has released a rich bounty of information today. A new "Chassis 101", a "Recon Update" and a "Weign In Wednesday" all make an appearance on the game's official website.
The third lesson of Chassis 101 is now available. Chassis 101 is a Flash primer that teaches Auto Assault's chassis system and its various hardpoints. This week our accredited course examines ornaments, melee weapons, and the ignition key.
Our Recon update this week examines Fort Logan, the main starter city for the Biomeks and the role it plays in the Scrap Valley region.
Our Weigh-in Wednesday poll is all about instancing, "What division of instancing do you prefer in MMOs?"
For more on Auto Assault, click here.
Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach has released the third in their series of Beta Journals. Testimonials from players who are involved in the game's beta testing phase, and not members of Turbine's staff.
This time around, the journal is called "Unexpected Moments".
This week we have a journal entry describing one player's experience playing DDO. As always, this journal was written by a player in our Beta and not by the Turbine staff.
Throughout the world of the pen and paper roleplaying experience, a common phrase abounds:
"Well what the heck do we do now?!"
While it usually has more colorful epithets, that phrase is not normally one that crosses my mind when playing an MMO. Certainly there have been occasions where "the pull" went bad, or the expected result didn't occur, but on such occasions the immediate reaction always boiled down into that normal state of panic resulting in the ever-present MMO combat mantra:
Deal out as much damage as can possibly be mustered in the shortest amount of time.
That tried and true formula has a few variations, mostly revolving around keeping the healer casting spells and making sure the tanks hold aggro - we all know that drill. I thought for sure this would be the same thing for DDO, but it turned out I was very wrong.
On one of the first nights of beta, I found myself as a member of a full adventuring party:
Warforged fighter, Human fighter, Human wizard, Halfling rogue, Dwarven paladin and me, the Elven ranger...
To read the rest of this journal, click here.
Blizzard and World of Warcraft have announced the winners of their BlizzCon movie contest. The contest itself was sponsored by NVIDIA, and asked players to combine visulas and sounds to create their own videos. Congratulations to the winners.
We are happy to announce the winners of the official BlizzCon World of Warcraft Movie Competition, sponsored by NVIDIA. We were truly amazed at the skill our winners demonstrated in combining in-game footage, original music and music from our games. Check out these awesome movies here!
For more on World of Warcraft, click here.
Garrett Fuller dives back into World of WarCraft in his latest article. Today he looks at Casual vs. Hardcore Players in the popular game.
| In any MMORPG there is such a thing as Time Played. Time Played can tell you a lot about your gaming experience. Has your time been spent grinding away to get the highest level, and once you reach that high level what is next? Do you spend your time getting loot, killing other players, or joining huge raids to progress in end game content? How does time played factor into a casual lifestyle or a lifestyle bent on being the best in a particular game. A very hot topic right now in MMORPGs is the notion of both casual and hardcore gamers playing on the same server and going after the same goals. This brings up the question what is the difference between a casual gamer and a hardcore gamer?
Currently, I have been playing World of Warcraft so please understand this article will be based around that particular game. However there are elements that may apply to EVE Online, City of Heroes, Everquest, Shadowbane, etc. So with that said how much time do I spend playing World of Warcraft? I would say an average of about twenty hours a week. Please understand I do work and have a family, luckily my wife plays too. Still with our schedules as they are I would say about three to four nights a week I am playing Warcraft. I do not think this makes me a casual player by any means. Many people will disagree with that. Hardcore players spend much more time than that working towards end game goals, because really that is what it is all about, the end game.
You can read the full article here.
Valerie "Pann" Massey, the Community Coordinator for NCSoft, has sent along some information about a charity that was founded by Penny Arcade. The charity is based on the healing properties that video games can have, and offers a great counterpoint to a culture that blames video games for violence.
Child’s Play: Put your money where your mouse is!
Dear fellow gamers,
All too frequently, we hear tragic stories of how videogames are allegedly to blame for violence and corruption. Please join me in my crusade to help turn that misconception around and show that games (and the people who play them) have a lot of great things to offer.
An easy way to get started is by supporting Child’s Play, http://www.childsplaycharity.org, a children’s charity that was founded in 2003 by the wonderfully creative folks that bring us the Penny Arcade web comic. In just two short years, this amazing project has blossomed into a full-blown phenomenon that gives comfort and joy to patients and their families in hospitals throughout North America.
Research has shown that patients who play videogames require less medication, heal faster and have improved pain management as illustrated in these articles:
Child’s Play isn’t just about games. Through Amazon.com, donations for a wide variety of items that include videos, music, toys and books as well as games and game systems can be purchased and shipped directly to the hospital of choice. This is one of many clever ways the Penny Arcade team has devised to ensure that they make good on their pledge that every cent donated to the charity goes straight to the kids. There’s no wasteful overhead, no mysterious administrative cost.
Even if you’re down to your last few gold pieces, credits or clink, there are still many ways you can help.
Please help Tyco and Gabe in their efforts to help bring some gaming goodness and joy into the lives of some very special people who need it. You can make a difference.
Best wishes and happy questing,
The Matrix Online has made an intetresting and potentially controversial announcement. It seems that their game will now be full of real-world advertisements:
Massive In-Game Advertising Announcement
An exciting new addition is coming to the world of The Matrix Online. As part of Update 38 we will be introducing Massive in-game advertising to The Matrix Online. For long-time community members, and those of you who play Planetside, it will be a familiar part of the game.
Real-world advertisements will begin appearing on billboards around the Mega City after Update 38 goes live. Just like real-world billboards, they’ll change to feature new advertisements over time. (Don’t worry: Your favorite ads for Slumberil, The Sentinel, etc., will remain a part of the game.) These static advertisements will not affect game performance in any way.
The inclusion of Massive in-game advertising opens up the possibility of something many community members have been asking for, player advertising around Mega City. We will be looking into the idea of running contests for selecting player-generated ads in the future as a way of incorporating these ads into the game. Once we have confirmed we can do this, we will make an announcement on Data Node One. Stay tuned and we will keep you updated on our progress over the next few weeks.
For more on The Matrix Online, click here.
Jon Wood spoke to Ken Troop, the Lead Designer of Dungeons and Dragons Online, at a recent event in San Francisco. Here is his report on that interview:
| On November the 8th, I had the opportunity to head across the continent to San Francisco for a Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach press event. The event itself was a success, as members of the video game press descended upon The Dragon Bar for the event. There, we had the opportunity to listen to a presentation about the game from Lead Designer Ken Troop, and to play the game hands-on.
Throughout the event, the developers from Turbine made themselves available, not only to help us out with the game, but also to answer our questions. Fortunately, I was able to corner Ken Troop for a quick one-on-one interview.
You can read the full article here.
World of Warcraft has released a new "Warcraft Weekly", a feature that links to forum threads created or commented upon by the community team.
The latest Warcraft Weekly provides direct links to threads created or responded to by the World of Warcraft Community Team. This weekly news archive is a great source of information, and checking it out each week is a wonderful alternative for those that wish to stay current on all the latest and greatest topics but don't have time to sift through the forums each day. Check it out here.
For more on WoW, click here.
Final Fantasy XI has released some details regarding a version update that they are expecting to have take off in mid-December of 2005. They have also announced a change in the format for the "Topics" section of their official website.
The next version update is currently in development and is scheduled for release in mid-December. Planned content include:
In addition, this section (FINAL FANTASY XI main page "Topics") will soon undergo changes. The Topics section has traditionally been used to report version update information, as well as changes that are in development, as they are made public. Soon Topics will change to include comments from the developers on upcoming changes and more. We hope you enjoy the new format.
For more on FFXI, click here.
Tulga Games has released some notes on the newest update for their game Horizons. The update applies to the Blight shard and will become active as of November the 15th.
The following updates, fixes and additions will be added to the Blight shard on November 15th, 2005...
For more on Horizons, click here.