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Age of Conan : New Conan Images

Posted May 15, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks at Funcom have provided us with new screenshots from Age of Conan, the highly anticipated new MMO that will open its doors on May 20th.

 

Check out all six here.

General : NCsoft Relases Q1 Financial Results

Posted May 15, 2008 by Keith Cross

NCsoft has released their financial results for the first quarter of 2008.  They report $84.3 million (US) in sales, and a net profit of  $7.7 million (US), but there was no mention of Tabula Rasa and the game's influence on these figures.

SEOUL, South Korea, May 15, 2008—NCsoft® Corporation (KSE: 036570.KS) today announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2008. On a consolidated basis, sales came to KRW (Korean Won) 88.1 billion (US $84.3 million), operating income of KRW 19.7 billion (US $18.9 million), and net profit of KRW 8.1 billion (US $7.7 million). Operating profit showed significant improvements quarter over quarter (63%) and year over year (16%).

Popularity of the Lineage® series in Asia, sustained sales of Guild Wars® and City of Heroes® in North America and Europe, and a decrease in expenses such as advertising and other variable sales costs were some of the primary reasons for the increase in operating income. Of note in Q1 2008, Lineage II reached record-high sales since its 2003 release.

In Q1 2008, NCsoft decided to take a one time write-off expense for the advanced development costs associated with the Spacetime Studios project, after determining the project did not fit into the company’s core development plan. That left a net profit decrease of 22% quarter over quarter and 43% year over year. However, excluding the write-off expenses, net profit would be KRW 15.2 billion (US $14.5 million) an increase of 48% quarter over quarter and 8% from the same quarter last year.

Read more here.

Champions Online : ION Interview with Victor Wachter

Posted May 15, 2008 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh has been attending the ION conference in Seattle. Her first article is an interview with Cryptic Studios' Community Manager Victor Wachter about their upcoming game, Champions Online.

Cryptic Studios has stirred the waters recently with a few announcements. They announced that they had sold their City of Heroes/Villains game to NCSoft, they had ceased development of Marvel Universe Online and they announced a new game in development, Champions Online.

I finally caught up with Victor Wachter, Community Manager for Cryptic Studios, here at the 2008 ION Games Conference in Seattle and I pried what information I could out of him.

“Lock, stock and barrel?” I asked of their sale of City of Heroes/Villains. “Pretty much,” he confirmed. “We sold them the game together with the development team. That was part of the deal, that they hired the CoH/CoV development team.”

Read more here.

EverQuest : Dev Chat Log

Posted May 15, 2008 by Jon Wood

On Tuesday, the folks from EverQuest dropped by our chat room to talk a little bit about their game and to answer questions from MMORPG.com members.

MMORPG_Taera: Greetings and welcome to MMORPG.com's Live Chat on irc.coldfront.net! I'm your host, MMORPG.com's community manager Laura Taera Genender. Joining us today is the EverQuest team!

MMORPG_Taera: Our guests will do their best to answer as many questions as possible, but due to limited time and a high volume of inquiries, they may not be able to answer every single one. Users are limited to one question at a time , and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded.

MMORPG_Taera: To submit a question please /msg MMORPGBot yourquestionhere

MMORPG_Taera: Now it's time for introductions! Feel free to start sending your questions to MMORPGBot while our guests introduce themselves!

[EQ]Merloc: Hello, I'm Keith Turkowski, I work on items, game systems, and content.

[EQ]Ngreth: Hello! I am Adam Ngreth Bell. Game designer specializing in Tradeskills.

[EQ]Rytan: Hi, I’m Ryan Barker the recently promoted Lead Designer.

[EQ]Nodyin: Hi everyone. I am David Ford, I work on the AA system and do various raids and quests.

[EQ]Elidroth: Afternoon all.. my name is Doug Cronkhite.. and I create stuff that kills you.

[EQ]Maddoc: Hey everyone, I'm Jason Mash, I work on game systems and content.

[EQ]Prathun: Afternoon everyone. I'm Jonathan Caraker, the designer responsible for the spells system.

[EQ]Zatozia: Hey all! I’m Lydia “Zatozia the Torturess” Pope, Community Relations Manager for EverQuest. I sit in a dungeon all day working on website features and causing my eyes to bleed by reading the forums all day long.

Read it all here.

EverQuest : LoN May Championship Qualifier

Posted May 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE has announced that qualifying rounds for for the Legends of Norrath Championships will be held this weekend on 17th and 18th.

Gen Con Indy is getting closer so now's the time to win a place in the Legends of Norrath Championships this August! Participants can compete in this two-day event for $5,000 USD in prizes, a paid trip to Gen Con to compete against the best Legends of Norrath players, and for the winner's likeness to be portrayed on an upcoming Legends of Norrath card! Visit the Legends of Norrath at Gen Con page for details!

Day One of the May Legends of Norrath Championship Qualifier consists of one or more heats (scheduled to start at 10:00am PDT) that will be Match Play (2 of 3) Swiss tournaments. The top 16 participating players from Day One will advance to Day Two for a shot at the monthly title. Day Two will be a single tournament that features the top 16 participating players from Day One in a Match Play (2 of 3) Swiss tournament. At the end of four rounds of play, the top two participating players will face off in a single, winner-take-all Match Play (2 of 3) game to determine the qualifier champion!

Read more here.

Dark Age of Camelot : Ghost Keep Guide

Posted May 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at Dark Age of Camelot have prepared a guide to help players see the new content of the Ghost Keep.

Since the debut of the new Event on Monday, we’ve seen a flurry of activity as the realms battle over control of the Ghost Keep. Each cluster has seen the ghost keep actively summoned six times or more since the premiere. To help out those who haven’t gotten to check out the new content, we’ve decided to go ahead and put out a quick primer on how the event works and how you can aid your realm in securing the Ghost Keep!

The premise is simple. The realms race to complete ‘Supply’ quests that will allow the ‘Ancient’ NPCs enough power to begin a summoning process that will bring forth the spectral essence of a former Keep Lord for each realm (Lord Berkstead the First for Albion, Jarl Nottmoor for Midgard, and Chieftess Crimthainn for Hibernia.) Unless noted otherwise, the quests described below are available for levels 45-50.

Read more here.

EVE Online : Empyrean Age Test

Posted May 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

CCP has announced that they will be testing Empyrean Age, the next expansion for EVE Online, on Singularity on Saturday May 24th.

Empyrean Age testing on Singularity next Saturday, 24 May, at 19.00 GMT

Come one, come all, and all that junk. Next Saturday, 24 May, at 19.00 GMT we're going to be convening on our test server, Singularity, for a bit of playtesting, and you - yes, YOU, lucky and valued reader - are invited to come along.

The plan is to have the bulk of the features for our summer expansion, Empyrean Age, up and running on Singularity this week, and the playtesting will be focusing on all the mechanisms involved in Factional Warfare, which is the main feature of the expansion.

We're hoping to get a good number of people online so that we can give everything a good thrashing and see how it all fits together in practice.

Read more here.

EverQuest II : Lore: The Worst Cook in Grobb - Part 1

Posted May 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

The folks at SOE have published a new piece of fiction which delves into the lore of EverQuest II.

Kruzz dumped the bucket of viscera into the bubbling cauldron, watching as the long coil of an intestine floated to the surface and was tossed around by the bubbling of the stew. He snickered to himself slightly, and then turned, colliding with Ttzork, the head cook of Grobb. He rebounded off the mound of her belly and landed back against the cast iron of the pot, wincing as it singed his skin. His hand immediately went to the item at his neck – a dried monkey tail, harvested when the animal ran in front of him and was crushed by a falling boulder. He'd always regarded it as the luckiest moment of his life, and had refused to part with the charm since.

"Why don't you watch where yer goin, worm," she said to him, sneering. The other cooks all paused to peer over their cook pots or carving knives and snicker at the confrontation.

Kruzz wrung his hands and turned away, muttering, "Be a bit easier if you didn't take up quite so much space."

There was a moment of silence as all the cooks exchanged anticipatory glances, and then Kruzz felt a vicious hook knock him straight up into the air. His rise up was followed by a quick plummet into the very bubbling pot of water he had dumped the viscera in only moments before. He screamed in pain and scrambled toward the nearest rim of the pot, where Ttzork was waiting. "Are you saying it was my fault?" she roared. "Trying to pass it off on me, eh?" She shoved him down deep into the water, and the heat of it made his skin rise and pop in bubbles. He flailed in the water, struggling against letting the pain overwhelm him as he attempted to beat at her hands. Finally, she pulled him out and threw him to the ground. Every inch of him stung as dirt and grass stuck to the skin of his burns, and he wheezed in and out as she stalked up to him.

Read more here.

General : Podcast #35 is Live

Posted May 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

SOE has announced that episode #35 of the official SOE Podcast is now live.

Official SOE Podcast #35 is live!!! Hear from Linda "Brasse" Carlson from thebrasse.com, we also would like to re-release our interview with Laralyn McWilliams from the Free Realms team. We chat about our ION Conference trip and EQII's Update 45. Jason Ryan's news gives us all of the info from many of the SOE titles unfortunately this Podcast some of the info is a tad out dated…! Ashlanne loses her gamer card, so stick to the forums to find out how you can help her get it back.

Be sure to tune in! You can get your Podcast goodness two different ways head over to the Podcast's official site, and click on your preferred bandwidth or if you have iTunes installed select iTunes store, type SOE into the search box and click Subscribe! Your feedback is always welcome either on the Station forums or via email to Brenlo@soe.sony.com!

Read more here.

Champions Online : Interview With Michael Henry

Posted May 14, 2008 by Keith Cross

Cryptic Studios has posted an internal interview with Michael Henry, Champions Online's Audio Manager.

Two weeks of guys named Michael – learn more about Michael Henry, audio manager for Champions Online!

Q: What do you do on Champions Online?
A: I am the audio lead on the project. My audio partner-in-crime Joe Lyford and I are responsible for all of the sounds in the game.

Q: How long have you been in the gaming industry, and what did you do before working on Champions Online?
A: I've been working with games for 12 years. (Has it really been that long?) Prior to that, I spent about 10 years working for a company in Chicago that was involved in commercial music production for TV, radio and film.

One day I was contacted by a headhunter looking to fill a composer/sound designer position at Viacom New Media, and I thought: "Why not? This would be a great way to marry my interests in audio, music and technology." So I made the leap, and I've never regretted it.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Interview with Jeffrey Steefel

Posted May 14, 2008 by Jon Wood

MMORPG.com News Manager Keith Cross spoke recently with Turbine's Jeffrey Steefel about the state of Lord of the Rings Online and the game's future.

Once each month, someone from MMORPG.com sits down with the Lord of the Rings Online developers at Turbine to participate in a conference call.  This month it was my turn to take part in our regular monthly talk with Turbine, where they normally share a few new details about an upcoming expansion, a new promotion, an event, or a new feature that they’re particularly excited about.  But this month’s interview came at an odd time in Turbine’s development cycle and in our news cycle.  They had just launched Book 13: Doom of the Last King which opened up the icy Forochel region in the north of Eriador, and they were too early in the development of Book 14 and the Mines of Moria expansion, which is due out later this year, to talk about those projects in detail.  On top of that, I had just spoken to Craig Alexander, Turbine’s VP of Product Development at the New York Comic Con just two weeks before.  Basically, there wasn’t a lot of new information available.  All that needs to be said about the above topics has either already been said, or isn’t ready for the public, so with that in mind, now seems like a good time to catch up with Turbine and the flurry of activity that has surrounded LotRO’s first year of operation.

Read more here.

Magic World Online : Get Free In Game Gifts!

Posted May 14, 2008 by Craig McGregor

MMORPG.com is now offering a free code to give new Magic World Online players in game gifts while supplies last!  The codes will only work when creating a new account for Magic World Online and you will then get free in game gifts at levels 5 and 20!

Registered members of MMORPG.com can get their free code at this link!

Age of Conan : One Million Sign Up for Beta

Posted May 13, 2008 by Keith Cross

Funcom has announced that more than one million people have signed up for the Age of Conan beta and that there have been over five million visitors to the Age of Conan official site.

And more than 5 million unique visitors to the official Age of Conan website in 2008.

Funcom and Eidos are proud to confirm some of the impressive figures powering the Age of Conan launch, and the two companies are happy to reveal that the Age of Conan Beta has passed 1 million sign-ups! As one of the most anticipated MMO’s ever, the 1 million mark confirms the amazing interest in the game.

“Funcom has not been able to find any higher beta numbers for MMOs in the western world,” said Morten Larssen, VP of Funcom Sales and Marketing. “We believe it represents the largest ever beta sign-up figure in the history of the genre.”

In addition to the incredible beta numbers, Funcom confirms that almost 800.000 gamers have signed up for the Clan of Conan newsletter. The hundreds of thousands following the development of the game have moreover resulted in a rapidly growing forum community. Last week Funcom registered over 115.000 posts on the official forums, across four languages. This comes in addition to Age of Conan discussions on external forums and in other languages.

Read more here.

Lord of the Rings Online : Lorebook Update

Posted May 13, 2008 by Keith Cross

The Lord of the Rings Online Lorebook has been updated with .a look at Flosi, a helpful Dwarf who offers a few quests in Thorin's Gate.

When Thráin, father of the great Thorin Oakenshield, led his people out of exile in Dunland to the Blue Mountains upon the western shores of Middle-earth, he hoped to find some part of the great wealth lost beneath the ruined stone of the dwarves’ ancient kingdoms. Instead, he found iron . . . lots of iron. Durin’s Folk maintained a form of wealth in Thorin’s Hall, but it did not begin to rival that which they lost to Smaug the Golden in the Lonely Mountain.

Some few dwarves believed that precious metals might still be found in the Blue Mountains, though none had been uncovered in the years since the settling of Thorin’s Hall. Among these was Flosi. The old prospector spent many of his long years seeking gold and silver in the mountains of his home, but to no avail. As soon as he found ore that he thought might lead to a vein of gold, though, he lost his tools in the mines of the Winterheight.

Read more here.

EverQuest : Dev Chat - TONIGHT! - 7pm EST

Posted May 13, 2008 by Laura Genender

Please join us on Tuesday, May 13th at 7pm EST for another MMORPG.com dev chat!

Come meet Ryan "Rytan" Barker, the new lead designer for SOE's EverQuest, live in the MMORPG.com Chatroom!  Starting at 7pm EST on 05/13/08, the EverQuest developers will answer your questions about the game, world, recent updates, future plans, and the team direction under new lead designer Rytan! Bring a question, bring a friend! After the chat, be sure to stick around for EverQuest and other MMORPG discussion.

Users can connect via any IRC client, to server irc.coldfront.net port 6667. The chat will take place in #mmorpg.

Learn more about EverQuest here.

Pirates of the Burning Sea : New Pirate Careers

Posted May 13, 2008 by Jon Wood

The folks from Pirates of the Burning Sea have announced some details on the two new pirate careers that are available in the next update.

NEW PIRATE CAREER: CUTTHROAT

Cutthroats represent the brutal side of the Brethren of the Coast. They lead short and violent lives and their answers to problems are short and to the (sword) point. They don't make ships; they steal them. Cutthroats take what they want and demolish anyone foolish enough to get in their way. Blackbeard is the classic cutthroat archetype.

 Example Ship Skill:

Cutthroat: Desperation Fire

This is the third skill in the Disaster chain. It’s a reckless attack skill that deals massive damage, but weakens your own armor.

Target: Enemy

Morale Cost: 20

Self Damage: Port Armor: 5%

Self Damage: Starboard Armor: 5%

Self Damage: Bow Armor: 5%

Self Damage: Stern Armor: 5%

Attack Damage: +40%

Reset Timer: 60 seconds

 
NEW PIRATE CAREER: BUCCANEER

Buccaneers are pirates too, but a bit subtler than their burning-bearded brethren. They steal and loot, but also manipulate the black markets. Some would call them gentleman adventurers, though few are true blue bloods. Buccaneers do not have the raw power of cutthroats, but they work well in groups and can help friends and cripple enemies. Buccaneers are more challenging to play than cutthroats, so are recommended for players with Pirates of the Burning Sea experience.

Example Ship Skill:

 Buccaneer: Survivor 

This is the first skill in the Gambler chain. It’s a click buff that increases your resistance, max range, accuracy, speed and damage. Only works when your current total armor for all facings is below 82% of the max (50% on one broadside).

Duration: 5 minutes

Morale Cost: 40

Damage Resistance: +10%

Maximum Cannon Range: +5%

Accuracy: +2

Maximum Ship Speed, Battle: +5%

Damage: +5%

Reset Timer: 10 minutes

Read more here.

EverQuest II : Update 45

Posted May 13, 2008 by Jon Wood

SOE has posted a news item reminding players that Update 45 launches today.

Yes, you heard it! Game Update 45 is coming to a US server near you, the morning of Tuesday, May 13th 2008! Less then a day to revel in the new weaponcrafting changes, less then 24 hours to hear that audible sigh of relief from your overburdened bank as you get more spaces, only mere hours until all the other great additions and changes arrive in EverQuest II!

Read more here.

World of Warcraft : The Nexus

Posted May 13, 2008 by Jon Wood

Blizzard has added new information to their Wrath of the Lich-King website in the form of a new dungeon: The Nexus.

The blue Dragon Aspect, Malygos, was charged ages ago by the titans as the guardian of magic. More than ten millennia ago, he watched in horror as Deathwing all but wiped out the blue flight. Maddened by grief, Malygos withdrew to his lair and paid little heed to the rest of the world, emerging only when it finally seemed possible to avenge Deathwing's terrible crime.

Only in recent times did Malygos fully return to his senses. Upon reviving, he quickly assessed the state of magical affairs in Azeroth and reached the grim conclusion that magic was running amok throughout the world. He blamed this dangerous development on the mortal races and their reckless pursuit of magical power.

Read more here.

Tabula Rasa : Weekend Wrapup

Posted May 13, 2008 by Jon Wood

NCsoft has posted a new Weekend Wrapup article for Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.

Now don't just stand there - BUST A MOVE!

The Czech Freelancers sure know how! Check out the latest screenshots from the Czech Freelancers while they cut a rug at the Tavern in our AFS Recreational Activities Gallery.

Like to take pictures of the events that you attend? Let us share them in our gallery. To submit, email your screenshots to trsubmissions@ncsoft.com with your name (real or character name) and a small description of the event.

Read more here.

Earthrise: First Impact : Music Tracks Part Two

Posted May 13, 2008 by Jon Wood

Sounds are generally used in games to set some kind of mood while the player is moving through the world. While we still don't have much information on the game, the folks from Earthrise have provided us with these two tracks from their upcoming MMORPG.

And I Shall Remain

The cataclysms of the Third World War have left cities in ruin, filled only with death and despair. Those brave enough to inhabit these areas can sense the ghosts of the men and women lost; their ghost-voices calling to them in the dry winds. Amidst the devastation, the old cities hide unknown treasures and secrets that may prove to be deadly traps for explorers. The weathered streets of these perilous cities have become battlegrounds for short, but fierce, clashes between government loyalists and rebel forces.

Check out both tracks here.

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